Peter Turner - Vol. 10 Observational Mentalism
Titulo número 10 de la colección Master Class Mentalism de Peter Turner...
Vol#10 OBSERVATIONAL MENTALISM
Introduction Welcome to 10th volume in the series. This series has taken more discipline to follow through with than anything else I've ever had to write. This month we take a look at 'observational mentalism' - the title to this month's episode (and subject area of this volume) is completely inspired by Colin McLeod. [Tangent alert*** I'd like to share how I met Colin. Colin and I first met in Manchester city center - I'd say five, maybe six years ago. I'd just jumped off of a plane from my first ever consultation gig in Paris, the plane had landed and I had turned my phone on and noticed that Colin had posted to say he was in Manchester. I messaged Colin (not expecting a response) saying something to the tune of "You're not far my town". Colin messaged me back and we got talking (the conversation eludes me now - but knowing Colin, he travels so much and is well cultured he likely asked what was good to visit while he was in Manchester. After a few messages backwards and forwards we’d arranged to meet up, I don't think I ever told Colin this but the window open to meet Colin was brief and I didn't want to miss it. I got a taxi straight from the plane to the train station (just stopping to drop my bag at a friends on the way) and bypassed going home. I was wearing a horrible blue checked shirt and my comfy travelling jeans. I arrive in Manchester and see Colin dressed smartly and in all honesty I felt a bit silly. Colin didn't seem to notice (or at least he was polite enough to ignore my attire) he was more concerned in whether my travel was a pleasant experience. It told me everything I needed to know about Colin and I instantly warmed to him as a person. We walked around Manchester city center both not knowing where we were going and ended up at a food place called 'Nando's'. I had never been to Nando’s before, all of this was a lot for me to take in and I started to get sensory overload. One thing I've never really talked in depth about (publicly) is the fact I have Asperger's syndrome. The moment I start to feel overwhelmed my brain instantly jumps to something I feel more comfortable thinking about and it did during Colin ordering! I remember interrupting and asking a mentalism related question mid order. Colin looked at me smiled and said "let's order food first dude and I'd love to share my thoughts on it". I remember directly after saying this he ordered the 'Red pepper dip starter' (which is amazing by the way and I highly recommend it).
I bungled my way through ordering not really paying attention to the woman at the till as I wanted to hear what Colin had to say. We sat down at table number 37 (which I remember for obvious reasons) and we shared ideas. Colin was cool to hang about with and too smart for his own good wise well beyond his years. We ate, jammed some more and I had to leave to get the last train back (which in Manchester is embarrassingly early). We stayed in contact after that and Colin became a good friend. I like to call Colin my 'no man' - For those people that don't know what a 'no man' is, it is the kind of person that is honest whenever you present him with an idea or thought. Many people are scared to hear criticism and surround themselves with people that are constantly positive and the problem with surrounding yourself with 'yes men' is in the long run when you present your ideas to a bigger audience and everything falls apart, you get mocked and all those yes' mean zilch. I used to perform in bars, clubs and nightclubs (this was before lecturing and learning the etiquette of stage) I thought theatre shows would be a doddle, no hecklers, no one interrupting or walking through the performance no noise It sounded like heaven. How wrong I was! Not long after meeting Colin I agreed to do a performance at 'South Tyne Side convention' which was a theatre with a mixed magic and lay audience (which Colin was present to watch) and it was embarrassing. Everything that could go wrong went wrong - it was my fault for not properly preparing. That wasn't the only reasons it was so bad and I had been wrong it wasn't heaven - there was no one heckling, so the lines I orchestrated to get a heckle to play off of fell flat, when there was dead time - it was like someone had literally died it was so quiet and so boring… a totally different pace. I wished whilst I stood there that someone would stand up and interrupt me, save me by walking through the performance but no, there I was laid bear with nothing on my person to save me, a thousand watchful eyes seeing me fail and fail hard like a led balloon cascading towards the ground. I managed get to the end of the performance, I left the theatre and went to the hotel deflated and upset. Colin met me in the hotel and we went through the performance, what to improve and how to prepare he gave me tips, hints and a host of other sources to check out to improve. I took his advice, listened to every word. That night was the best and worst night in my career. I bombed so hard and was so embarrassed by my performance that it hurt - but I'm so glad it happened as I learnt early on (while people were still getting to know me) as it forced me to learn about staging and choreography, people often ask me
presently how I got so tight at performing and scripting and the honest answer is because of this moment. I never wanted to feel that way again! Colin and I only met up briefly a couple of times over the next year or so because our schedules and tour locations were always vastly different and it was a busy time for both of us. A couple of years later Colin and I were sharing a stage in Germany at the 'Mind Summit' European convention. This was a moment in my career I will never forget as Colin and I had agreed to do a joint workshop. We met before the convention and went for dinner at a bar that hosted Karaoke upstairs to catch up and work out our game plan. The strangest thing happened, the managers of the bar started to ask us for our photograph with him and insisted we move to the 'nicer area' of the bar. We assumed that he must have somehow known us maybe he was a mentalist himself. The manager pushed us to stay and visit the Karaoke room, the bar keep served our drinks instantly while everyone else had to wait at least ten minutes just to get attention. It wasn't until we were leaving and the manager asked us about the rest of the band we realised he had mistaken our identities. I politely told him that I loved his shoes and we left. The convention was great, Colin got to see me on stage - Which I was excited about as it was a whole host different to what he had seen a couple of years previously. I had taken the advice he had given me and ran with it (I was still not where I wanted to be but the improvement if I say so myself was vast). A few years later here we are - I have now hit what I like to call my 'groove' - I no longer need to think when I perform, I can easily move from one thing to another without much thought and even when I am presenting fresh material I do it so much more effortlessly because I now know the formula that works for me. You wouldn't be reading this right now if it weren't for Colin's influence and inspiration. I just hope he also takes value from our conversations - at least then I'd feel as though I was giving something back. Back onto this month's subject - I am going to be honest right out of the gate and say that this isn't as heavy on deduction as say Colin's or Ben Cardall's work. This volume is framed more towards creating effects based on observations of statistics, body language, natural opportunities that present themselves in performance and traditional methodology as a series of outs. Before we get into the content of this month's instalment, I would like to share a story that I heard several years ago (a story that fits perfectly into
the natural opportunity category). This is a story that is public domain but little heard of. None the less it is an interesting story and I'm sure will be of value to you. Note to readers*** I am writing this story from memory and because of this I will be filling in/ creating certain elements within the story to portray the overall essence of the message I felt the story had to offer. End of note*** Before James Randi was the well-established personality he is today, whenever he performed live at a venue he had no dressing room to prepare/ set up his show in. This meant he had to sneak into the men's toilets, go into the cubicle, lock the door and put his feet up on the toilet to up his effects and prepare for the show that was about to take place. During this covert operation he heard two gentlemen walking into the bathroom as always Randi tried to mind his own business and not eves drop on the conversation that was taking place just out of the cubicle door. Quietly getting on with preparing his set for the evening he overheard the words Randi and mind reader and Rani’s ears pricked up. He overheard one of the gentleman asking the other gentlemen if he thought there was any substance or weight to being able to read minds, to which the second gentleman replied - "It's all B.S, he will have actors or plants in the audience. The only way I will ever believe anything like this, is if it happens to me. If he finds me specifically during the show and tells me that my mother used to call nickname me ‘bubba’ then I will believe it. I'll hold my hands up and say I was wrong". The moment Randi heard footsteps leaving the front of the cubicle he very quietly and carefully peered over the top of the cubicle and got a good look at the gentlemen that had been talking. During the show Randi addressed the situation of scepticism and asked the biggest sceptics in the room to participate in a mind experiment, he asked the sceptics to stand. Randi simply looked around the room for the gentleman he had seen walking out of the toilet. After selecting the gentleman from the audience he asked the gentleman to think of a piece of information there is no way he could know and moved onto blowing the audiences mind with what Randi referred to as ‘the most talked about effect of the evening’. I think this story perfectly sums up just how powerful observation can be when used as a tool in mentalism. I hope you love this volume.
Pete Turner OCT 2016
Psychometrically pseudo Effect The performer asks male members of his audience to raise their hand if they have a mobile phone with a wallpaper on the home screen. It is explained that for this effect that 3 members of the same sex will be selected so that it isn't abundantly obvious by looking at the wallpaper or decals on the phone whom the phone belongs to. The three volunteers are asked to join the performer onstage and when the performer is not looking each drop their phones into a bubble wrap envelope and ensure that the envelopes are entirely opaque. The envelopes are mixed up by each of the participants and when they are totally happy the performer reaches into one of the envelopes and pulls out one of the mobile phones. The performer instantly starts to give a reading about the person he feels the phone belongs to. He then finishes by revealing whom he thinks the phone belongs handing it to the correct participant and after the participant is revealed the participant takes a seat. This process is repeated and the second phone is handed back to the correct participant whom also takes a seat. The remaining participant clearly owns the last mobile phone, instead of looking at the wallpaper to determine things about the participant. He sets out to read the participant in order to try and determine what he feels the participant has set as his wallpaper. After reading the final participant, the performer draws something on a pad and the participant is asked to state clearly what they have set as their wallpaper on their phone. The participant states that they have a picture of a mountain and stars. The performer turns his pad around to show he has drawn a mountain and stars!
Breakdown This is essentially a simple yet logical take on 'sneak thief' that utilises mobile telephones. I am going to outline two methods, one method that utilises traditional methodology and the other deduction based methodology.
Method #1 Take each of the envelopes and mark them clearly so they are distinguishable. The markings should make it apparent which is the first envelope, the second and third envelope. The kind of envelopes I recommend using are the kind in which open on the wide edge not the long edge (the shorter edge has the flap). My preferred marking is a pencil dot, on the address side of the envelope on the wide edge (the short edge). Ensure the flap is at the top, facedown (so the address side is facing you) in the top left corner place a dot. This is envelope #1. In the middle of the envelope (directly across from the first dot) place another dot. This is envelope #2. Finally finish by placing a dot in the top right corner, this will be envelope #3. When the first person comes onto the stage let them drop their phone into envelope #1, the second participant drops it into envelope #2 and participant 3 into envelope #3. Even if the envelopes were well mixed you would now easily be able to identify who owns which phone just by looking at the marking on the envelope. The markings on the envelopes answers the first half of the equation, the second half of the equation is finding out what is on the wallpaper of the last phone (without having to take it out of the envelope). I am going to list a couple of ways to achieve the same result - each of the methods are simple and effective.
Bold but simple Ensure that the envelopes you are using are opaque (black bubble wrapped would be my choice, manila if blacks not possible) the envelopes need to be completely opaque so that when a phone is placed inside the envelope and you press the home button the light from the phone does not shine through the envelope.
I would recommend practicing this next part using your own phone.
Hold the envelope so that the flap side is toward the participant as them to place their phone facedown and drop it into the envelope.
When practicing this you will mimic the way that the participant will place the phone into the envelope.
When the phone is in the bottom of the envelope, get used the locating the button on the front of the phone. The best way to get used to this is to learn what I call "the squeeze". The squeeze is essentially pinching both sides of the envelope where the bottom of the phone lays to ensure you are pressing the home button on the phone. This will turn the screen on. This that rest will a 45
is where we will get the peek, hold the top of the envelope on the edge has the flap, leaving the top of the envelope wide open and let the phone against the back wall of the envelope. If you look into the envelope you see the wallpaper on the phone as it will be facing tilted back at about degree angle for you to see.
Once you have learnt to peek the wallpaper at speed you are ready to apply this dodge. The participants mix up the envelopes, you choose one of the envelopes (note the marking) and apply the peek. Just before you bring out the phone, stop mid beat and say, Performer: "In fact, you choose the envelope", this is where you will apply the peek on the offbeat. Remix the envelopes and let the participant touch one. If they choose the envelope you just peeked inside then have them hold this envelope and tell them that is going to be the "target envelope". Then move into the routine leaving that envelope until last. If however they choose any other envelope, that is the envelope you will start with and you will leave the 'peeked' envelope until last. Before you bring the first phone out of the envelope, ensure that the participants know to keep a poker face when the phone is being removed and no matter what don’t give away any clues. ***Note to reader, whilst applying any type of peek using a mobile phone think about the lighting on stage. If it is dark, the moment that you push the button it will stand out ridiculously as the light will beam out of the envelope. End of note***
Window envelope There is a slight amount of construction needed to create one of these envelopes but once created you shouldn't need to make another one (if you look after it)
You will need A craft knife A clear folder Craft glue (super glue will work but is not as good) Scissors Take your bubble wrap envelope and orientate it so that the flap is at the top and the flap is facedown (the envelope is laid down envelope side up). Carefully separate the envelope by peeling the left long edge and bottom wide edge (you are essentially tearing open the envelope so that it opens and is only connected to itself by the final right hand long edge that you do not rip. If you struggle to do this, use the craft knife. I hold no responsibility for any accidents that take place whilst slicing open the envelope. BE CAREFUL! Cut a window out of the bottom edge of the address side of the envelope. When cutting this window leave roughly 2 inch at either side of the wind so that it doesn’t damage the structure of the envelope. Take the clear file and glue it over the hole in the envelope (the window) so that it looks like a little plastic pane. It should now resemble an actual window. Carefully glue the envelope back together, mark this envelope number two. When you drop a mobile phone into this envelope, if you utilise the 'squeeze' mentioned earlier the phone will light up and you can see straight through the window to the wallpaper. One thing I have found playing with this, is that the envelope is best shuffled to the back of the stack so that the light does not shine upon any other envelope. When you ask for the phone to be placed into the envelopes have the envelope flap side up and ask the participant to put the phone in facedown. This means that the phone is going into the envelope orientated correctly. The bold moment comes when you ask the participant to mix up the envelopes. Hand the envelopes to the participant placing the flaps into their hands.
Ask the participant to mix the envelopes, the participant never touches the half of the envelope that has the window in it and therefore it is impossible for them to ever know it exists. In performance all you have to do is ensure that this envelope is the last envelope you pull a phone from.
Piecing it all together This is the simple part. The participants have come onto the stage and placed the phones into the envelopes and mixed them. DO NOT PEEK YET. Remove one of the phones and look at the wallpaper, you know who the phone belongs to because of the marking on the outside of the envelope. Look at the wallpaper, make some comments about the person you feel it belongs to and hand the phone back. This is where you apply 'the squeeze' pick up both of the remaining envelopes, the window envelope in you dominant hand and apply the move in order to peek at the wallpaper. Do this under the guise of choosing which envelope to work with next. Place the window envelope back down and remove the phone from the other remaining envelope. Repeat the first phase (reading the participant from the wallpaper on the second phone) and then move into the revelation of the wallpaper from the final phone.
Deduction based variation This variation is not something I would rely on - but is fun to play with in a close up scenario. This technique relies on solely being able to work out what you feel is on someone's wallpaper before the phone is pulled out of the participant's pocket. We are going to apply ‘statistical practice’ in order to ascertain what someone might have on their wallpaper. Males I have found tend to have a limited selection of things on their wallpaper. Car/ motorbike Marvel/ dc logo Football logo Provocative woman Wife/ gf Child/ Pet
Women usually have a much smaller range of things on their phones wallpaper. Child/ children Pet Husband/ bf Meme Magicians might have a slightly different set of wallpapers on their phone Don't take into account your own wallpaper whilst looking at this list. We are strange, strange people. Note to reader*** This next section is something I am playing with currently and you are going to be privy to me thinking out loud. It is something that is not practiced and by no means perfect but I hope you take it to places that I had never deemed possible. End of note*** If you are working with a female participant it should be a lot easier to reduce the list with little to no thought. Seen as though each of the thoughts in the list are that of an emotional attachment – Therefore that would be my first line of narrowing. Performer: "When you first sat down, I instantly got the impression that your wallpaper on your phone was a pet... (Pause for a few seconds)" - If you get the hit great. This is where you move into describing the pet.
This next piece of information is going to sound suspect, maybe it is just me that has noticed it but you can tell who is a dog person and who is a cat person. I have found it all comes down to the openness of the person, if the person seems more introvert then I have found that they are cat person and if they are open and relaxed a dog person. The eyes are a massive tell for me too - it sounds really stupid writing this but I look in the person's eyes if they remind me of the eyes of a dog I will always will go with my instinct and assume that person's pet is a dog. If they look a little more closed and are avoiding eye contact I would go with a cat person. It's something that is not that difficult once you get a feel for it. This is probably the worst explanation of how to tell a dog person from a cat person you are likely ever to read. Because I feel my explanation is not to standard, here is an article from ‘Psychology today’ that I feel may help you a lot better than I ever could.
Excerpt from psychology today 'The personality differences between dog and cat owners'. Virtually any discussion among pet owners is bound to reveal that there clearly are dog people and there are cat people. In some cases the depth of feeling for their chosen species can be quite intense. However, according to an associated poll, there are a lot more dog people out there, since 74 percent of their test sample like dogs a lot, and only 41 percent like cats a lot. The flip side of the coin is that some people seem to be quite exclusive in their preferences, liking either dogs or cats and loathing the other species. Apparently cats appear to be much easier to hate. Fifteen percent of the adults questioned said they disliked cats a lot while the number who said they disliked dogs a lot was only two percent. There are sound reasons to suspect that the preference for dogs or cats reflects some underlying human personality differences. Certainly the relationship between cats and humans has always been quite different than the relationship between dogs and people. This reflects the behaviours that both species have kept from their heritage prior to domestication. In the wild, cats are usually solitary hunters and often are active mostly at night. In contrast, wild canines are usually sociable pack animals that work in groups and are active between dawn and dusk. Our domestic dogs retain this need for social interaction to the degree that without a master and a family, a dog seems unhappy--almost lost. Dogs will intrude on a person's ongoing activities if they are feeling lonely and want some company or play. Cats, on the other hand, are often invisible during the day, seeming only to appear in the evening, especially if that is when they are fed. Cats will occasionally engage in social activities or play with people, but their interest is limited. Usually, after only a few minutes, cats will abandon the game and wander away. Dogs on the other hand, will often engage in play, like fetching a thrown ball, for hours at a time, and it is usually the human that quits the game first. Recently, Sam Gosling, a psychologist at the University of Texas in Austin and his graduate student Carson Sandy conducted a web-based study in which 4,565 individuals were asked whether they were dog people, cat people, neither or both. The same group was given a 44-item assessment that measured them on the so-called Big Five personality dimensions psychologists often use to study personalities. Gosling summarized his results saying, "There is a widely held cultural belief that the pet species -- dog or cat with which a person has the strongest affinity says something about the individual’s personality, and this research suggests there are significant differences on major personality traits between dog people and cat people." Just on the basis of the nature of dogs being more sociable than cats, one might expect that the personalities of dog lovers would also reflect higher
sociability. The results showed that dog people were generally about 15 percent more extroverted and 13 percent more agreeable, both of which dimensions are associated with social orientation. In addition dog people were 11 percent more conscientious than cat people. Conscientiousness involves is a tendency to show self-discipline, to complete tasks and aim for achievement. The trait shows a preference for planned rather than spontaneous behaviour. In comparison cat people were generally about 12 percent more neurotic, however they were also 11 percent more open than dog people. The openness trait involves a general appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, imagination, curiosity, and variety of experience. People high on openness are more likely to hold unconventional beliefs while people with low scores on openness (dog people) tend to have more conventional, traditional interests. Gosling's recent study seems to confirm the findings of some research that I did for my book "Why We Love the Dogs We Do." I used a different personality measure, namely the Interpersonal Adjective Scale, because I was mainly interested in items reflecting social interactions and social tendencies. It gives scores on four scales, extroversion, dominance, trust and warmth (which is close to agreeableness on Gosling's measure). My study involved 6,149 people, aged 16 to 94. I attempted to get as many dog owners as I could, so this group included 3,362 dog owners, but also, 1,223 people who only owned cats and 1,564 people that owned neither a cat nor a dog. My results showed that people who owned only cats seemed to be somewhat different than dog owners or people who owned both dogs and cats in terms of their personalities. People who own both dogs and cats seem to be much like people who own only dogs. You should keep this in mind, since from here on, at least for the purposes of this discussion, when I mention a cat owner I mean someone who lives only with a cat, while when I mention dog owners I will mean a person who owns a dog or both a dog and a cat. According to my data, cat owners were one third more likely to live alone than dog owners and twice as likely to live in an apartment or flat. Being married, living in a house, and having children living in the home, are all factors that are more likely for dog owners than cat owners. A single woman was the most likely individual to have a cat. Of the people who grew up in a house with cats as pets, 47 percent were likely to have cats today, while only 11 percent of people whose childhood years were spent in a house with a dog have only a cat as a pet. Turning to the personality profile of the person who owns only cats, we find a reasonable overlap with Gosling's recent findings. To begin with we find we find that people who own only cats tend to be relatively introverted (low on extroversion) and also reasonably cool (low in warmth or agreeableness) which is the pattern confirmed by the more recent data.
Looking at the other two measures we find that cat owners are relatively low in dominance. People who are high on dominance are generally described as being forceful, assertive, persistent, self-assured and self-confident. They are the people who stand out in social gatherings as opposed to people who are low in dominance that come across as being more timid, bashful, shy and unaggressive. The final dimension that I looked at was trust, and cat owners appear to be fairly trusting. People high on this dimension are often described as obliging, modest, straightforward and "good sports." People low on this dimension can be more suspicious and manipulative. The general pattern that comes out of both studies is that dog owners are more social, interactive and accepting and cat owners (who own cats exclusively) are more introverted, self-contained and less sociable. Perhaps one of the most telling differences between dog and cat owners is illustrated in a single comparison. I asked people who own only cats "If you had adequate living space and there were no objections from other people in your life, and someone gave you a puppy as a gift, would you keep it?" The answer to this was compared to what I got when I asked people who own only dogs the same question about a kitten. More than two thirds of the cat owners (68 percent) said that they would not accept a dog as a pet, while almost the same number of dog owners (70 percent) said that they would admit the cat into their household. This suggests that most people who own only a dog are potentially dog and cat owners, while most people who own only a cat are exclusively cat owners. End of excerpt*** If the participant did not respond to the pet statement when you applied the hanging statement, simply move on Performer: "but after getting to know you a little better, I feel it is a person or persons on the screen - Out of interest what age?" When the participant tells you the age you will then know if it is their partner or child. You can completely eliminate this phase by polling (or matrix-ing) when you sit down with the group. You can say something along the lines of Performer: "Children have such an interesting way of looking at the world, out of interest how many here at the table have a child or children?" When they answer follow with – Performer: “You will know exactly what I am talking about their imagination is so unbound.
***Note to reader I feel the matrix dampens the deduction-esque feel of the entirety of this piece." End of note*** If we were thinking of the different categories that a male could think of, maybe there is an interesting anagram that can be created from all of the different categories. Let’s look at the words and see if we can create an anagram – Car Motorbike Son Daughter Girlfriend Wife Pet Marvel Football Let’s take a look at some of the letters that occur the most frequently to create the anagram, O A I R E M B
– – – – – – –
3 4 3 5 6 2 2
Without going any further (there are still letters that I have not looked at), I can see that the most frequently occurring letter is the letter ‘E’. That would be the first letter I would throw out in the anagram – E – No – Car, Son As you can see I place the categories to the right that contain no E. After eliminating these two categories the most frequently occurring letter now is the letter ‘R’. Now the anagram looks like this –
E – No – Car, Son | Yes | R – No – Wife, Pet and Football After eliminating 5 categories, we are left with – Motorbike Daughter Girlfriend Marvel The next most frequently occurring letter from these categories is an ‘A’. E – No – Car, Son | Yes | R – No – Wife, Pet and Football | Yes | A – No – Girlfriend, Motorbike | Yes | Marvel, Daughter Now we have the basis of an anagram let’s take the anagram and give a script/ premise that makes the anagram logical – Performer: “I propose we play a little game, a game in which I try to deduce the wallpaper on your mobile phone. I want you to take your phone out and keep it facedown. The first thing I am feeling straight away is that you are a very logical and strategic thinker which tells me that you are an analytical type of person. I want you to imagine what category the wallpaper on your screen falls into. For example if it is a super hero think of the words Marvel or Dc, if it is a child think of the words son or daughter, if it is a football logo see the word football, your girlfriend think girlfriend, wife think wife, dog or cat or any other animal think pet and car think of the word car and so on and so forth essentially imagine the word that sums up the category that this image falls into”. Participant: “I’ve got it”. Performer: “Imagine this word written in the air largely, think of the exact amount of letters in that word”.
[Pay attention to how long the participant takes to think of the amount of letters. If you notice that this is not almost instantaneous then say to the participant “It doesn’t matter, just look at me”. This will give you a gauge as to the amount of letters later and this could greatly help with the reduction process. This is of course Michael Murray’s incredible CUPS principle. A tool that is imperative to any would be deductionist.) Performer: “I want you to imagine mixing the letters of this word up in a random order in your head and I will try to predict the exact word that you are thinking of”. Participant: “Ok, I am doing that”. Performer: “Before we go any further, this is not a picture of yourself is it?” [This is important as there is a chance that it could be and you would hit straight out of the gate.) Performer: “Ok, stop where you are now go back there is an E in there correct?” Participant: “Yes”. Performer: “There’s not an R in there is there?” Participant: “No”. Performer: “I didn’t think so you are doing great, in-fact imagine this picture now for me”. [We will pretend in this scenario that the person responded to CUPS quickly telling us it is a short word, in this example wife or pet). Participant: “Yes”. Performer: “I think I have exactly what the wallpaper is now, I’m intrigued – How old?” (The age instantly gives you whether it is a partner or a pet, without even fishing you know that the person is married and not a gf (if the age the participant gives dictates that it is their wife. You could utilise a ‘reductive out’ by writing down pet and then writing down wife). Now you have successfully deduced what is on the screen you need to use your own intuition in order to be able to nail things about what is on the screen. If you check out the readings volume (Vol#2) this volume will help you greatly in being able to do this.
Now we have looked at deducing the wallpaper, let’s take a look at how to determine how to find out who owns what phone (as per the routine above). Being 100% honest there is no real way to know exactly which phone belongs to which person. The best way to determine whom owns the phone, is to read the person based on their wallpaper. If there is someone on the wallpaper then start to read that person and watch your participant’s reactions. They will usually give you a clue as to whom owns the phone. The person who seems the most interested or the least interested tends to be the person who owns the phone. Look at the wallpaper, does it give you an indication as to who the phone belongs to? If the picture on the screen is of say a working dog, like a Border collie look at the hands of the participant. Do they suggest that he might be a farmer? Is there something that gives away the fact that this person might own a border collie? – I know that this is a ridiculous example but it quickly and easily expresses my point. The question you should ask yourself is what does the wallpaper tell you about the person? Which of the participant’s does it best suit? If it is music related, who looks the most likely to play an instrument. If there is a child on the front of the screen, who does it closest resemble? This might seem obvious to you but completely flies by when performing – especially if people already believe in your abilities. You are utilising every little clue the phone is giving you – If it is a picture of a woman and she is wearing a wedding ring, look at the participant’s hands are they wearing a wedding ring? Look at the way the woman looks on the screen, which gentleman is she most likely to match with? If it is a car or a motorbike, is the participant wearing anything to suggest that it would belong to them? Mechanics have dirty hands most of the time – This is a great tell if there is a car or bike on the front cover of the phone. Of course in a situation like this you would instantly point out how you figured it out and make a point that it is obvious. Look at the phone, which phone would you say fits the person? Tech types swear by android as they can be programmed. This can be another good indication as to who the phone belongs to. Another technique that you could utilise at this point is to play a liar truth teller type game in order to ascertain who owns the phone. If you go back to vol#9 in the series there is a zodiac divination you could play with the participant’s simultaneously in order to work out who the phone belongs to by
asking it as one of the questions in the game. Using this method you also get the participant’s star sign for free. This type of premise is interesting and also time relevant because of the tech savvy world that we are living in. Another way (I love the idea of) is to trick the participant’s via a game that adds a layer to the performance and is light hearted yet fun. Performer: “I am going to pick these phones up, one phone at a time and start to read the wallpaper, no matter how much I beg and plead or use underhanded techniques don’t tell me who the phone belongs to… Unless I deduce it”. Mid reading the first persons wallpaper turn it towards yourself, then say, Performer: “A text has come through saying emergency there’s an emergency, whose phone is this?” The participant will unwittingly give themselves up. Address them, Performer: “I told you I would utilise under handed techniques to get you to tell me. You are out of the game”. Another technique we will be looking at later is in more depth is a technique I like to call – “The only one that knows”. Address the group – Performer: “I want you each to imagine that this phone belongs to you, when I address you and ask if it is your phone I want you to keep a straight face and respond yes – Even if it is not your phone. Essentially you are ALL going to pretend it is your phone, if I ask you questions about the phone answer as though it were”. The performer asks each of the participant’s in turn if it is their phone, each respond that it is. The performer then asks each of the participant’s how long they have had the phone – The participant’s respond. The performer then looks at all three of the group and says – Performer: “Think of the code for this phone”. Whichever participant nods the first should own the phone. The reason that this is the case is that they are the only person that knows the actual code and therefore the others still have to make the information up in their heads. You should now know who owns the phone.
I would probably (thinking about it now) utilise this principle for the second mobile phone - The first I would utilise the “emergency ploy” to get the participant to give themselves up. This is the first (potentially second if you are following my formula) participant take care of, pick up the second phone – Utilising any one of the aforementioned principles you have a good chance of finding out who owns the phone. As it is a 50/ 50 chance of getting this next one right if you just guessed, if use your genuine intuition to work out which participant owns the phone you up the probability from the off. When you are left with one phone you move into utilising the earlier techniques to deduce the wallpaper.
Another day another dollar Note to reader*** This is going to be one of the strangest things I've ever had to write as it isn't one routine, rather two. One which will only work in the U.K and the other which will work worldwide – The first routine (the one that works inside the U.K.) is a good indication to looking towards ‘Natural patterns’ to create miracles. I am outlining both of these effects to press a series of thoughts and ideas that are a lot easier to outline/ detail in the context of a performance. Please read each of the routines in turn as each of the routines provide ideas that can be utilised in your other effects and principles that you can use to do things as close to real as possible.
Effect #1 (U.K only) Bank card divination The performer asks a participant if they have their bank card on their persons. The participant confirms that they do, the performer asks them to remove the card careful to keep it hidden. The performer can if he so chooses turn his back during this process until the card is well and truly hidden from the performers view. The performer asks the participant to look at their sort code or account number, quickly remember one of those sets of numbers and put the card away. The performer then asks the participant to think of any number inside that series of numbers. The performer successfully reveals the number that the participant is thinking of.
Then as a kicker the performer finishes by revealing every other number in that set of numbers. Note*** the performer never touches the card, doesn’t have to be in the same room when the card is produced and this WILL work over the telephone!
Effect #2 (Outside and inside of the U.K) Serial divination The performer asks the participant to take a bill out of their wallet, after completing this instruction the participant is asked to take a look at the serial number on that bill. The performer starts to divine the random digits in the serial number successfully.
Effect #3 Pin code divination The performer whilst working with any group of participants successfully divines a pin code that is either existing or made up on the spot. The pin code is never written down, typed into any device it literally just exists in the participant’s mind. Note*** this one requires determination and practice.
Breakdown Effect #1 Bank card divination This kind of routine has always been for me, my go to type routine. I love the idea of practical mentalism that hits hard. This was something that I discovered purely by accident and since then I have used so many times. Note to reader*** As explained earlier this type of routine only works in the U.K. BUT that is not to say that you cannot find similar occurring situations with a little bit of experimentation outside of the U.K. observational mentalism requires the participant to find naturally existing patterns and anomalies in everyday life. Finding ways to take those anomalies and construct an effect from them. As a quick tangent – here is a simple thought based on natural patterns that has for the most part been over looked but explains I feel the power of utilising patterns in a performance context. If we were to look at a mobile Take a mobile telephone number in England… Every single telephone number in
the England starts with 07 – Not incredible in itself, if I simply said to the participant think of the second digit of their mobile telephone number and revealed it - this wouldn’t be impressive in the slightest. BUT, if I added one step to the process (which is usually not good adding extra process) this can take something that is simple and mundane and with a good presentation make it something that can be used in a range of situations as a go to impromptu piece of mentalism. If I somehow managed to fairly force the second digit of the participant’s mobile number (without the participant knowing that I know what digit they are thinking of and them thinking that they have had a completely free choice of any digit in their number) then all of a sudden this becomes a little more impressive especially from the audience’s perspective as they never know where about in the number the participant thought of a digit from. You could then tie this number to any host of information, like a playing card a month in the year or any other piece of information. If you wanted to use this in America or any other country you would just need to look toward the natural re-occurring numbers in the telephone It’s about taking natural elements and patterns that exist and forcing them in a way that seems so fair. The routine I am about to share I feel is a perfect example of this formula. End of note*** The secret to this routine requires the participant to have a 'Santander' bank card. If you have a Santander bank card go grab it, you can check this for yourself. Look at the 'Sort code' on the card It is going to be 09-01-26 09-01-27 09-01-28 The only digit that is going to be different is the last digit. Don't jump over this effect thinking you now know the method as I promise you there is a beautiful little subtlety utilised to make it seem like they could have chosen any numbers. The only time this will differ (only very slightly) is if the person has a business account, which I will cover in performance. I have found this situation occurs very rarely. NOTE TO NONE ENGLISH READERS*** A bank card in England has the long card number (which will appear on your card), a sort code (which will not) and an account number (which may). Hardly
anyone (including workers at Santander) know that the sort codes are the pretty much same. Take a look at the bank cards in your country - Try to spot commonalities like this. Maybe the first four digits on the long card number issued by a particular bank are the same on every card, if you find commonalities like this you too can utilise this idea. *** END OF NOTE There are a few ways to establish if the participant banks with Santander (depending on the circumstances you are performing in).
Option #1 - Pseudo pin guess Under the guise of aiming guessing the participant’s pin code ask them to remove their bank card. If you notice that the card (as they start to remove) it is red simply say, Performer: "In fact keep the card hidden take it out don't let me see the numbers on the card. If I can guess the numbers off the card it would prove I could just as easily guess your pin. This is obviously safer in this context". Then move into revealing the numbers (which I will outline in a moment). If you notice that the card is NOT a red card, simply talk about the notion of psychometry. While you hold the card and pick up 'impressions' ask the participant to write the Pin to that bank card and then move into a traditional billet peek and reveal type methodology.
Option #2 You are sat with a small group, start by addressing the group, Performer: "I'm going to ask a few questions that won't make any sense right now but will tell me everything I need to know about you in order to read you in a few moments. I don't want you to say anything out-loud, just think of your answer for now. Do you prefer eating in or out? If you prefer eating in raise your hand". (This is just fluff, it doesn't matter who raises their hand.) Performer: "If you prefer eating out raise your hand". (Again this is just fluff to pad out the performance.)
Performer: "Raise your hand if you bank with Lloyd’s TSB". (This doesn't matter.) Performer: "Santander". (Pay attention here, it is imperative to the effect. Proceed to list the rest of the banks don't worry about paying attention to who raises their hand. If no one raises their hand to banking with Santander proceed with the last couple of questions and move into a different effect. This process will seem like you are gauging your participants to read them.) Performer: "if you were born in the spring raise your hand". (Repeat for summer, autumn and winter. Pay attention to where the participant who raised their hand for banking with Santander. This is will give you an additional reveal later.) Performer: "Finally think without saying anything out loud if you had to imagine your aura as red, green or blue what colour would it be? If you thought red, raise your hand". (Repeat for green and blue, this again is to pad out the process.) You are now set. You are now also down to three star signs for that participant! Utilise the principles outlined in Vol #9 (Zodiac mentalism) to reduce this down to one.
Option #3 Simply ask, Performer: "Who is it you bank with?" In all honesty, this is the least hard part of the entire process. Once you have established that your participant banks with Santander, it is time to apply my favourite part of this routine. Performer: "Take out your bank card, please don't let me see it quickly remember either your sort code, or account number and put the card away". (This line is so nice, an account number is 8 digits long and all the numbers are clumped together a sort code is spread out perfectly for remembering. Plus, if you had the choice of remembering six or eight digits which would you want to remember in the heat of the moment? For clarity sake, here are what the two numbers look like on the card.
The word quickly also pressurises the participant gently to think of the sort code. Once you have subtly guided the participant to the sort code simply say, Performer: "The number you are thinking of is a completely free choice right? (They will confirm it is.) Performer: "there is no way so could know whether you are thinking of your account number or sort code correct?" Participant: "correct". Performer: "Think of any number in that series of digits". NOTE TO READER*** Remember this number 09-01-27 Say it to yourself over and over. Now think of any digit in that series of digits. Done that? It was a free choice right? You were thinking of the number nine? *** End of note*** The most likely number that the participant will think of will be the number 9. IF the participant doesn't think of a 9 simply say Performer: "There is a 9 in there though right as I am certain that I saw a 9". This will allow you to take the hit back should the participant have not thought of nine first: This is the part of the routine that serves as an interesting lesson in terms of choreography, structure and a creating point of reference. You will notice that the last digit is what I refer to as a 'variable digit' as it could be one of three (6, 7 or 8). As far as I'm aware the cards that end in 6 are only
issued in Bradford (my home town) for anyone else it should be 7 or 8 and as thus I will explain what I would do in a regular situation (using 7 or 8). Because this digit is the digit that changes don't leave it till last! It will totally dampen the reaction. Take care of this digit at this point in the routine, you have an excuse for being slightly shaky you've just started to read the participant. When handled correctly this situation can be dealt with seamlessly and in the participant's head there will never seem to be to be a 'bump' or mistake. We are going to utilise a 'hanging statement' at this point in the routine. Performer: "Now bring your attention to the last digit, this is a seven (pause very slightly, if your participant reacts great it's a hit. If not quickly counter with), no it's an eight!" By you correcting yourself it never seems like you have missed at all. After you have taken care of the last digit, I would move into a phase that hard-core prop-less mentalists will hate *** Side note, I am NOT an advocate for prop-less mentalism - I use whatever tool is best for the job at any given time. The tool that is going to ensure the effect flows as smoothly as possible so I can focus on performance. When I first started to share my thoughts on mentalism, to my knowledge there were no billet less name/ pin guesses and or other types of prop less material - It certainly wasn't popular. Sure there was psi forces (each of these were to force a vegetable or piece of furniture and in-sequential things like this) and I sometimes think me introducing ideas like this to the community created a series of monsters. There are very few people who understand how to do it properly, I have seen performers who have taken my BOLD mantra and have applied if recklessly. There are the few people that really understand how to apply material like this and use this material when it is required - Not as a go to. I really needed to vent my frustrations, I never wanted any of this and I think if it continues there will be a divide and that cannot be good for us as one big family. The example I am about to share should serve as a good reason as to why we need to think about where we apply traditional methodology. End of note*** Back to the effect, we have deduced the thought of digit and the last digit. I now bring out a billet (as I know for sure the rest of the number) and write down the number with spaces between - So they look like this 09 01 28 as opposed to 09-01-28. Make the spaces smaller so they are only slight.
Place the card face down on the table, slide it toward the participant and ask the participant what the numbers are.
We have created what I call 'a point of reference'. It's very easy to reveal the numbers verbally without writing them down and if I was performing one on one I would totally verbalise the numbers. There is only one problem with verbalising the numbers in a group context, the rest of the groups reaction relies solely on the participant’s reaction and if the participant's reaction is damp the group’s reaction will also be damp. If you write the information down, slide it towards the participant and after the participant has told you the code recite it to the group (slightly slower) so it gives everyone a chance to remember it. When the piece of card is flipped over each person in the group has something to react to and you will find your reactions will be much larger.
This type of routine is simple in thinking, but extremely devious and solely relies on looking for aspects of areas or areas of life in which natural patterns occur. Hide the patterned piece of information amongst other pieces of information and force them the patterned information. That way they could hand chosen another set of numbers and it seems incredibly fair (but we know it really wasn't.)
Inside and outside of the U.K. Effect #2 Serial divination This type of effect is fun and can be performed any place, anytime. It is quick, interesting to watch and simple. There are only (to my knowledge) a few ways to achieve this type of effect, each one of them we will look at so you can choose which method suits you the best. A peek, double writing/ secret writing, introducing a bill of yours as the participant’s, dual reality, mathematics, observation or a switch. I am going to share a few ways to achieve this type of effect using not all but some of these techniques. There are not too many options when it comes to revealing the serial number on a bill/ banknote. Each one of these options make it very easy to seemingly deduce the numbers on a bank note. I am going to be very open and honest and state that the reason the serial divination made it into this volume is because a couple of the methods are opportunist peek/ observational type mentalism. After writing this type of method up, it occurred to me that the information that I had shared was I felt flat and a little bit lonely SO I decided to provide a series of other methods also… Even though they are not completely observational-esque I felt they fit here so perfectly that it would have been a shame not to have mentioned them. I hope you forgive me.
Observation / peeking Let’s look at observational tactics. I have noticed that if I take several notes from a cash machine (especially ones around a university or college) if the notes comes out fresh (no creases) and of the same denomination, they usually follow sequential order – where the last digit is the only digit that differs. So if one said 0000001 the next would say 0000002 and so on and so forth. If you ever catch someone at the moment of coming from the machine, a friend in a social situation, or if you are out on a day’s filming someone that you happen to notice fits this criteria you can move into revealing a serial number in the easiest fashion possible. Wait till the person has placed the notes into their pocket, wallet or purse. Ask that person if you can try a mind experiment with them based on randomness. Performer: “Hand me a bank note (watch them take the note from their wallet/ purse) I want you to take one out for yourself, feel free to take out any you wish”. This is where you have to watch the participant, if they take the next bill out of their wallet/ purse you know that it is either one number higher or one number lower (the last digit) than the number bank note you have. If they dig in a couple deeper then you know it is a couple higher or a couple lower. They will naturally pull the note out of the same side of the wallet/ purse as the one that handed you. You simply use the note that they handed you first to demonstrate what you want them to do I.E. Fold it keep it in their hand hidden behind the palm so that they can see the serial number. Secretly you are looking at the serial number on the bank note they have given you in order to divine the participant’s remember the last digit is the only thing that should be effected. Every once in a while you may find that the second to last digit is effected (if the note they hand you has a high last digit) for example if it is 0000009 the next one might be 0000010 or 0000008. Observational technique #2 This one is a really simple peek (bold) but works nicely. I have briefly described this peek in a different context in the ‘numbers volume’ in this series. Ask someone to remove a bank note from their pocket, as they do take the note and blatantly look at the serial number (don’t make it look blatant) remember the numbers – I can easily remember 6 numbers but if you struggle, the last four digits will be fine. Peek the serial as you hand the note to another
participant and say “I want you to take this and screw it into a ball – (look at the first participant) If you don’t mind of course”. This is where you are going to play a game of which hand with the new participant. I would recommend “Tequila Hustler” as it is quick simple and 100%. If you want to go down the observational route you can use “The nose knows”. This is simply looking at the participant’s nose when they are holding their hands out, whichever hand there nose is pointing towards is the hand that is more likely to be holding the note. This is of course an age old method and by no means perfect. The idea is to play a few games of which hand with the participant and then say – Performer: “Now I think I have become accustomed with the way you think, I wouldn’t normally do this but open the bank note and look at the serial number let me see if I can pick up on a few of the digits” This is where you would move into a reveal. This type of mentalism is what I like to call ‘opportunity based mentalism’ you are essentially using an offbeat in performance to create an opportunity for yourself without anyone knowing. It is simple but bold and totally flies by. Observational technique #3 This is an old bar bet that has been featured in many publications from Dunninger to Ovelly but fits so perfectly in this section of this volume. The idea is as thus – when in a bar (or any other establishment such as coffee house etc.) you are going to pay with a medium denomination bill for a drink in England a ten pound note is perfect. Before paying commit the serial number to memory. All you have to do is sit within eye shot of the till (cash register) and whoever receives ten pound as change is the person that you will perform the effect upon. You will now know the serial number on that bill. As another little subtlety I would suggest making a little drawing on the bill and scribble a number on the reverse side so that when they pull this out you instantly know it is the right one. When you approach this person (having let them sit for a short while) show them a couple of effects to get them warmed up and now ask them to remove a bank note stating “A ten pound note is perfect”. If you notice that your drawings are not on that note simply say “You flashed that to me pulling it out, I don’t want you thinking I saw the numbers on it, pull another one out”. This will then have them put the bill into their wallet and replace it for another bill of the same denomination.
As you can see this is simple and fits into the ‘observational’ and ‘using your bill as the participants’.
Switching the bill Switching the bill is another method that is open to your disposal. It has certain pros and cons, I am going to outline several different variants for you to look at and you can decide which you would prefer to utilise. Nest of envelopes – This is very Annemann in thinking but so simple. It requires a small amount of preparation. The inspiration for this was my “peeka-boo” routine outlined in “Dare to be BOLD”. Remember the serial number on a bill (make a note of it and don’t forget it). Place this bill into a pay envelope (money envelope) then place that envelope inside a letter envelope. Then quickly sign the flap – This needs to be a couple of loops – try to make the signature as general as possible. We are now going to take a larger envelope and create a ‘two way out envelope’. This is very simple you will need, 2 x larger envelopes Glue Scissors Instructions Carefully cut the address the side of the envelope of off one of the envelopes, when you have cut it off you should have what looks like a square (or rectangle dependant on the envelope) take the glue stick and run it on the bottom edge of the square (or rectangle) slide this cut out (glue side going in first) inside the un touched larger envelope and you will create a partition. If you rub the bottom of the envelope the glue will stick inside the envelope holding the flap in place. You now have one envelope with two partitions. Take your prepared envelopes (the ones containing the bill) and drop it into one of the portions and then when it is in there glue the top edge and seal that portion shut. When you hold the envelope open now for all intense and purpose it looks like an empty envelope. Place a small but visible X inside this portion near the top edge.
[This will ensure that you can always identify this portion of the envelope. Little things like this are the beautiful moments as you are always safe guarding yourself so that you do not have to think when under pressure). Keep this envelope off to the side. At any point in your show, you simply ask someone if they have a bill (ensure you ask for one of the same denomination). Hand them a pay envelope duplicate to the one that they had earlier and ask them to seal their bill inside. Then hand them a letter envelope and let them seal that envelope inside there. Now hand them a pen (the same one you signed the seal with) ask them to put a signature on the seal of that envelope. This is where you pick up you large envelope casually flash it, ask them to drop their envelope inside that envelope and you then seal it at fingertips everything must seem fair and then hand them the envelope and ask them to take a seat and that you will call them later to attempt a demonstration. After a few effects have gone by you now call the person to come to the stage and hand you the envelope. Rip open the top of the envelope (ensuring it rips open the two portions). Reach in the envelope at finger tips and draw out the prepared envelope. Casually toss the large envelope behind you. Or place it off to the side. This is the bold moment but it totally flies by - Casually flash the signature on the envelope and say “your signature”. Then rip open the bottom edge of the envelope and ask them to hold their hands out. You tip the pay envelope (money envelope) into their hands and then proceed to tear open the letter envelope to show it doubly empty. Ask them to open the money envelope and then move into the serial divination from there. This is a very simple solution to performing a serial divination that will play out great in a stage context. Switch technique #2 This routine was inspired by reading ‘Fool the guesser’ articles. I actually love this routine and I think it is going to go straight into my close up act. The one ‘flaw’ in the routine I think is totally justifiable within the natural confines of the method. I hope you love this.
Effect The performer proposes to play a few games of chance with the participant. He produces two envelopes and asks the participant if they have a bill. The participant pulls out a bill, the participant is asked to take the bill out and fold the bill and then fold it again for good measure. The participant is asked to pass the bill under the table and hand it to the performer, this is
placed with the envelopes, placed inside one of the envelopes and the envelopes are mixed up and brought out. The aim is to try and psychologically force the participant away from the envelope containing the money. The performer successfully manages to make the participant choose the empty envelope. The other envelope is opened to show that it contains the bill. The envelopes are taken back under the table, mixed again and the game is played for a second time… The performer again successfully manages to get the participant to choose the empty envelope. The third game the performer suggests that the reason that the participant couldn’t locate the correct envelope because there is no risk… He suggests that they play for 50 pence, that way there is an amount of risk and something to gain. The performer mixes the envelopes up this time and the participant successfully manages to find the envelope containing the bill. The performer hands over his 50 pence and just before the participant places the bill and 50 pence away the performer stops him and says – “How about giving me a chance to win my 50p back?” the participant accepts the performer’s proposal. If I can read you to guess the serial number on your bill then I get my 50p back? If I cannot successfully read you, I will match the amount of money you placed inside the envelope and you get to take that as your prize. The participant looks at the serial number on his dollar bill and the performer successfully manages to read the participant and guesses the numbers on the bill, winning his 50p back!
Breakdown What I really like is the way that this routine wraps itself up. The mechanics of the routine are simple, the psychological aspects are the fun part. The reason that this was inspired by “fool the guesser” carnival type games, is that even when the guesser lost in reality he won because it cost 2 pounds to play the game and the prize that you won was only worth 50 pence. Even if they lost all day they would still win. I loved that type of idea, it directly inspired the last phase of this routine. Take a bill, remember the serial number. I would suggest writing it down and committing it to memory before playing this game. The setup is as thus, take a small letter envelope and place inside it the bill I would suggest using a ten pound note (or similar domination in any other
currency). Mark this envelope with a tiny pencil dot in the bottom corner of the reverse side of the envelope (the opposite side to the address side). Put the envelopes in your pocket for later. That is the only setup required. First I will cover the mechanical phases and then talk about how to guide the participant away from the envelopes on the first couple of phases. First ask a participant to remove a bill from their pocket, when they reach into their pocket to take out their wallet say “A ten is perfect for the size of the envelope”. As you say “envelope” remove the envelopes from your pocket. As they take the bill out ask them to fold it and then fold it again and pass you it under the table. When you take the bill under the table mime placing the bill into one of the envelopes and then mix them around. What you are secretly doing is placing the bill into your lap and keeping it here for later. Bring the envelopes out, hold the address side of the envelope towards the participant saying, the bill is inside one of these envelopes. As you can see by looking at them there is no way that you can tell which. As you are saying this secretly clock the marking so that you know which envelope the bill is inside. (I will outline how to guide the participant later). The participant will make a guess, it might be wrong or right. Let’s for example sake say that it went the way we had planned, they open the empty envelope and you open the top of the other envelope showing that there is a bill inside (they will be looking at your bill). It really doesn’t matter if the participant wins all of the games (as you will see after I have described the mechanics of the routine). Place the envelopes back under the table, mix them up again and play a second game, again trying to lead the participant away from the envelope containing the note. After this game, propose that you play for 50 pence (or cent) or a coin of a similar denomination. Take the envelopes back under the table and now slide the participant’s dollar bill inside the envelope that is empty and bring them back out. Again hold them up for a few seconds address side towards the participant, clocking where your note is via the marking. Place the envelopes on the table and ask the participant where they feel the note is.
Of course either envelope they are going to win now but you really want them to pick the one that you have placed the note inside. I will outline how to get them to choose your envelope. Let’s say that they do choose it, they now win the note and the 50 cent. Why would the participant ever want to check the other envelope? It would make no logical sense now for them to want to because they have won. Let them remove their bill from the envelope and quickly place the envelopes inside your pocket. Their bill is inside one of the envelopes going into your pocket so that you end clean. Just as the participant is placing the bill away, this is where you proposition the participant to make your 50p back by reading the participant for the serial number. This is where you will get your 50p back and finish victorious. You could even say, “Based on the choices in the games that we have just played, I think now I know how to read you in order to guess the number on the bill”. This is where you would move into the revelation. It really doesn’t matter if the participant wins or loses the first couple of games. The reason being that when it comes to the third game and you are playing for money before you play for money you say. Performer: “I am more confident now, the first couple of games have led me to know exactly how you think and I believe that if there is a small amount of pressure added to the guessing process it might lead me to know exactly how you think”. The participant wins the third game and then you move into then saying – Performer: “I am going to be honest, it was never about the game. I needed you to believe that in order to be able to know how you think. Are you willing to give me a chance to prove this by winning my 50 pence back? If I don’t manage to read you successfully, I will give you ten pound as a bonus prize”. As you can see it really doesn’t matter if the participant wins or loses the games in the middle of the routine as it is all leading to the final reveal but it also has a fun and interesting feel to it. It reminds me of the kind of games I might have played as a child and that can never be a bad thing. Here are a few psychological dodges to get the participant to go for the envelope that you want them to go for.
The first phase is really simple there are a few options – Note the position of the envelope with the bill inside it. In this example we will say that it is on our left. Place the envelopes on the table and simply say, Performer: “which envelope do you want, the one on the left or the one on the right”. Be careful not to make any hand movements at this point. Note to reader*** I think you will find this equivoque-esque approach interesting don’t skip this as you can use this type of thing for other areas or aspects of your mentalism. End of note*** If the participant says left, simply say – Performer: “Ok pick up the envelope on the left”. Never specify by using the words yours or mine – Let them naturally assume. This is the best case scenario for us. They will pick it up and the envelope will be empty. I will cover what to do if they start to reach for the envelope on your left in a moment as this will be the same outcome as them choosing the envelope on the right. If the participant asks (which will rarely happen), Participant: “My left or yours?” Performer: “I am glad you asked, most people wouldn’t that tells me a lot about you”. Move into this response – Note to reader*** This is going to be the same script that you move into should the participant choose right or reach forward to pick up the envelope on your left. Performer: “Stop for a second, I am going to be honest. I never specified your left or mine and this type of thing is important to take into account when you are playing a game of psychological warfare. I am going to try and trick you and guide you away from the envelope that I feel contains the money. Then again think about it, I might just be saying all of this to guide you away from the envelope that you just chose… Or I could
be saying all of this to ensure that you stuck with the envelope that you have already chosen. In fact”. Note to reader*** place the envelopes back under table again pretend to switch them but don’t do anything and bring them back out and place them on the table. Performer: “I might have switched them, I might not. Which envelope do you want now?” This should force the participant to go for the opposite envelope. If it doesn’t, let them win and then quickly move into playing the second game. Choice #2 (for game one) If you place the envelope containing the money closer to the participant and tap the table saying which envelope do you want? It will likely have the participant choosing the envelope that is furthest away from them as the one closest seems too obvious. Choice #3 (for game one) This one is fun, and totally flies by. Performer: “We are going to make the exact opposite choice to what you would normally make in a situation like this so look at both of the envelopes and choose one”. If they choose the one that contains the money simply say, “I did say we are going to go with the opposite of whatever you choose, pick up the other envelope and open it and see how you did”. If however they choose the one that is empty simply say, “Great, you thought of one and genuinely changed your mind and ended up here”. Pick it up and show them that the envelope is empty. Round two Mix the envelopes up and again clock the marking before you place the envelopes on the table. Write the word “No” on the envelope that doesn’t have the bill inside and the word “yes” on the envelope that does. Look at the participant and say – Performer: “Being honest, without guessing do you right now know which envelope the bill is inside?”
Participant: “No”. Performer: “No you do not know which envelope it is inside or it is inside the envelope that says that word no upon it?” Participant: “No I don’t know”. Performer: “ok, well I will give you a clue. The bill is inside the envelope that says the word yes on it. I marked them to make it really obvious for you. Which envelope do you want?” This should guide the participant away from the envelope that says yes, why would you help the participant? Again it really doesn’t make a difference because if the participant does correctly guess the envelope simply show them that they were right. And say “I wanted to see what you would do in a situation where you had the opportunity to trust me. I think we are ready to take this to the next level”. Take the 50 pence out of your pocket. Performer: “I am willing to bet 50 pence on the next game. Are you willing to have a bit of fun and play for 50p?” When the participant accepts the bet. Address the participant, Seen as though the envelopes are marked and you know which envelope it is inside. I am going to take it out of that envelope and place it back inside the same envelope or change envelopes. Look away for a second. This completely gives you a justification now to place the participant’s bill inside the other envelope without any suspicion as you have openly said that you will be opening and tampering with the envelopes. This is where you would play the final round as described earlier. The last game I would suggest using one of the techniques that you didn’t use in the first round to force the correct envelope. When the participant wins at the end they will never assume that it was a force of any kind as they win so why would they? I really think that is a charming little routine and it is harmless playing for 50p the thing I really love is that no one ever really loses any money and it cleans itself up as the envelopes go back into the pocket containing the bill and there is nothing to try and hide as it is hidden in plain sight.
Scrying In Your Wine – Kenton Knepper Note to reader*** this routine fits perfectly into this section of this volume and so the contribution has been placed here I hope you love it! End of note*** “To say this is a natural, yet ingenious, bill switch to what follows is a grave injustice. The psychology of action combined with a reversed premise is what makes this remarkable to all who see it” – Allen Zingg, May 2000 A bill is borrowed from a spectator who folds it into quarters. This keeps the serial number hidden inside. The bill is placed on the performer’s open palm as he states “Oddly, the serial numbers on a person’s bill can tell us a great deal about the person who carries them. Did you look at the serial numbers on your bill? Oh, I did not ask you to do that? You did not pick that up telepathically? My mistake, I apologize. Then perhaps we shall attempt this in reverse! Perhaps your personality might tell us something about the numbers on your dollar bill”. So saying, the performer isolates the bill on the table. He begins making notations on a business card as he describes peculiarities of the spectator’s personality. When the performer stops jotting down notes, he mentions “If all of what I said is true, then the numbers I have written down that correlate to your personality would have to be very similar to the numbers on your bill. Here are the personality numbers, take a look at your bill and see how close we are”. The spectator is amazed to find that all but one or two numbers are absolutely correct, even in their sequence! This is a bill switch true, but it has fooled some of the best minds in mentalism. I originally created this effect and method for Dr. Juris in the 1980’s. In the original, the performer poured a glass of wine, which he peered into, thus the title. These days, I tend to use soda pop, coffee, or water while relaxing and discussing psi events with a spectator. Let us begin by dealing with the basics of the switch. Memorize or secretly crib the numbers of a bill. This bill is folded into quarters or crumpled if you prefer, so the serial numbers are hidden inside. Here is a sneaky aspect to this switch. The known bill is placed secretly under a concave bottom of a wine bottle or soda pop can. Some cups work well too. The weight of most coffee cups will keep a folded bill hidden once the bill is loaded underneath it. No matter how you do this, you will load the known bill under the bottle, can, or cup. If the bill is balled up, the concave bottom of these containers is especially useful. You may load the bill as you pour or sip your drink. No one knows what you are doing. This may be similar to loading a ball under a cup during the “Cups and Balls” – but no one is watching for it in this case.
The bill doesn’t have to be memorized because you jot your impressions on the back of your business card. The numbers may easily be prewritten on the business card unbeknownst to your spectator. The bill is under the cup or can on your left, with the spectator to your right. Make your opening remarks and suggest you might try to prove this theory by checking a bill the spectator has on them. Please note this is not a magic trick. You are not “borrowing” a bill – you are never going to touch it as far as they are concerned. It is not yours “to keep temporarily”, nor do you want to suggest any such thing. So, the bill is never borrowed. The bill is used to prove out the theory. Huge difference. Take the bill from the spectator on your right once they have hidden the serial number inside. As you do not ask them to look at the serial number, they usually don’t have any idea what it is. In this confusion, they will begin to open the bill to look. Tell them not to do that as you may see the number, and propose the new experiment as stated in the effect. As you make these remarks, casually hold out your palm up right hand towards the spectator. Rarely do you need to coax the spectator directly to put the bill in your right hand. They will place the bill in your hand out of confusion and curiosity of what you might do next. As you speak, begin to casually place the bill on the table. The left hand picks up the cup or can from which to sip. The right hand turns palm towards you, as the cup or can is lifted. The right thumb clips the bill or it is finger palmed as the drink is lifted. The right fingers land on top of the previously hidden bill under the can, which appears to be the original bill from the right hand. Let me say this again a few different ways, so that you understand. Thumb clip or finger palm the original bill as the right hand turns down, and as you place your right fingers on the bill under the drink while the drink is lifted. Palm or clip the bill in your right hand, turn the hand over and towards the cup as your left hand lifts the cup out of the way of the right hand. As the cup clears the table, the right hand fingers fall on top of the bill underneath it. The spectator assumes this is their bill, which is merely being placed on to the table in full view. The right fingers immediately push this new bill forward on the table away from you, as you pour or sip your drink. This is a bit like a Han Ping Chien coin move for Coins through Table or Coins Across. Or you might think of this as a Shuttle Pass. In either case, the drink acts as the hand dropping the other item – in this case, a bill. The movement of your right hand from right to left, combined with your left hand picking up the drink to sip it, causes enough visual confusion to sneak a small pack animal into place. The switch is all very natural, so no need to sweat it. Hopefully by giving you various words and comparisons for this same, simple action, you will find what works best for you. The drink may now be placed into your right hand to
conceal the original bill as you speak. Your left hand digs in your pockets for a pen and card. Not finding anything, the left hand takes back the drink as the right hand with the hidden bill goes to the pocket where it finds the needed items and leaves the bill secretly behind. Your work is finished, but to the spectator you are about to begin. If you do not do “readings” per se, it is easy to make some general statements about a person’s personality. We all tend to size up people this way in everyday life. So now you are being paid to speak what you notice, and to do so kindly – that’s all. Another factor at work is the linguistic bind at the end of the routine. You say indirectly that if what you say is true, then the numbers would all match on the bill! When most of the numbers indeed match, this implies that your reading was mainly correct. The fact that one or two numbers are purposely missed helps explain away indirectly that you may have been slightly wrong about a few things concerning the spectator’s personality. If a number or two is wrong, this reinforces the notion that the numbers came from what you observed about the spectator’s personality. If you were wrong about one or two things concerning the spectator’s personality in her view, then a number or two would have to be incorrect on the card. Since this is the case, it all seems to be very real proof of a legitimate experiment. Stated directly, the idea that personality may be connected to a serial number on a bill seems wild, at best. With the words and indirect implications in this routine however, spectators tend to become very convinced this can be the case. Students of Wonder Words will notice the correlation between my classic “Playing cards that people pick…” line and the routine here. This is a very novel effect and completely unique from the standard fare of reading numbers on a bill via telepathy and so forth. The impact this has on a spectator arouses great curiosity, and after all of this – they are likely to believe anything no matter how bizarre! That does not mean you should so gullible to think they are gullible. Everything about this effect is very personal, yet in a safe way for the spectator. Often readers say that they are successful due to the fact that their clients’ favourite subjects are themselves. The routine takes great advantage of this truth. Keep in mind that a casual attitude and a relaxed atmosphere is key to the effect and the switch. Make someone’s night memorable tonight with a bill switch. Go ahead – try it. You’ll see for yourself why some of my friends love this so.
- Kenton Knepper
*** Return to Switching a bill Literally any kind of coin switch can be used for a bill, once you have screwed the ball up it is there to be able to switch at will. One thing I want you to pay real close attention to is that the bill is never just switched there is always some type of game, or premise is in play and the serial number is divined as an after-thought. That is very, very important never just switch the bill and move straight into revealing the numbers! Another thing to take into account, is how you are revealing the numbers. If you are reading the participant they must look at the serial number on the bill. If you are using a routine like kenton’s Scrying your wine the participant never reads the bill and therefore it would make sense to start writing and casually flash the first couple of numbers to the other people at the table then switch out AFTER you have committed to some of the numbers as no is quite sure what the numbers equate to at that moment in time.
Which hand serial divination Effect The performer proposes to play a psychological game with his participant, he asks the participant to take out a bill and screw it into a ball. The performer asks the participant to place the bill behind their back, mixes the bill between their hands so that the performer cannot determine which hand the bill is in. The performer successfully guesses which hand the bill is in. The game is repeated a couple of times and again the performer successfully deduces which hand the bill is in. The performer then asks the participant to open the bill and asks them to look at the serial number the performer moves into successfully divining the serial number.
Breakdown I am not going to outline the ‘which hand routine?’ I would recommend tequila hustler as it is a guaranteed outcome the switch is the thing I think is interesting. I call it the belt switch, the setup is simple –
Roll up a bill into a ball and slip it into the back of your belt, you will notice it holds it in place. When the participant brings out their bill ask them to roll it up in a ball, hold your hand out and they will pass you the bill without you asking. Address the participant, Performer: “I don’t know if you ever played that game when you were a kid and there were a procession of kids in a line and hidden behind their back was a tennis. The tennis ball would be passed up and down the line and you would have to try and guess who has the ball. This is going to be a very similar game except obviously we don’t have a line of people so you are going to take the ball behind your back and mix it between your hands up and bring your hands out like this”. Note to reader*** As you place your hand behind your back simply tuck the bill into your belt buckle retrieving your bill from the belt. From the front this will look like you are simply mixing the bill up between your hands from the front. Get this motion down, it takes a little practice. End of note*** When you bring your hands out, hand the participant the bill back and then move into the ‘which hand?’ routine. Beat the participant three times. When you the participant has placed the note away, say in-fact get the note back out, look at the serial number on it. This is where you would move into divining it. You can do this if you are not wearing a belt, by simply tucking the note into the back of your pants. IF you are sat at a table, you can use the cover of the table and lapping to perform this routine. I prefer the standing element. Paolo Cavalli's E.S.Psychometry £1,000,000 Marc Spelmann's Serial Killer Marc Spelmann's Serial Killer Lite Barrie Richardson's Dollar Divination Bruce Bernstein's Lucky Buck Paul Curry's Payoff Jay Sankey's Serial Killer Paul Brook's Serial Killer Banachek's Lorayne's Buck Banachek's Bill-Z-Better Patrick Redford's Divine Number Patrick Kuffs's Pk Divination Arthur Buckley's A chance in a billion
Raymond Carlyle's An Opener my way Bryn Reynolds's $ Jack Kent Tillar's Assumption Swindle Bob Cassidy's The Art Of Mentalism (nameless effect) Annnemann's Strange Secrets: Mental Dollars Lee Earle's Double Bill Lee Earle's Telephone Bill Alain Nu's Serialistic Larry Becker's Ultraffinity Larry Becker's Ultraaffinity Revisited Larry Becker's Serial Killer Larry Becker's Super Serial Killer 3Docc Hilford's XCHANG1T Gary Kurtz's Leading with your Head (nameless effect) Kenton Knepper's Scrying In Your Wine Tony Corinda's Impromptu Book Test Simplified John Scarne's Serial Reading
Effect #3 – Pin Divination What you are about to read is a series of natural patterns that can be utilised to create simple miracles - The routine and scripting will be the same as the routine above - If you haven't read it go back and read it! This routine has two variants, a bold variant and a straight forward variant. To understand the mechanics of the serial divination on the bill we first have to revisit an old idea of mine - The bold pin divination. I have taken the effect and re-worked it and simultaneously added subtleties that are of an observational nature and simultaneously provided outs and traditional methodology in order to give you the desired / described outcome. There are several ways to guess pin codes or phone codes for real. Because of the effect above, I thought I would outline one of the techniques that I genuinely use to guess pin codes. This is the type of effect I always dreamed of being able to create. It is a real as real gets! This is the sort of effect that is often depicted as the “Grail” or “impossible” or “a pipedream.” Yes, it might be, or it might be that no one has tried to search for these effects as they are deemed impossible. Imagine all the inventions and gadgets that you own and take for granted; these were once deemed impossible. If no one had attempted to invent them, then they would still be so.
You may think to yourself: “What are the advantages of performing billetless?” The honest answer is NONE - I never set out to design prop-less mentalism. All I am simply doing is offering you a view point into the way I think. Feel free to apply the pieces you like, and just keep the pieces you don’t to the side should your thinking change. It’s startling to me when I think about all the things I can do now with absolutely nothing! A lot of these types of effects were born by accident, and I have learned via trial and error that taking guesses and being bold, and then remembering what worked during those bold moments, have helped me “find” the principles you are about to read. I really hope you take into account just how strong this is. It may on paper seem longwinded, but trust me, these principles work. And they work well. I remember the release of Dare to be BOLD (one of my pieces of work that, I must admit, contained some immature thinking and I am going to re-write at some point). There was a routine in that book called “Trust Your Instincts,” which people read and shunned as not workable or none deceptive (not that being deceptive is the most important thing in mentalism, anyway this fits into the same camp). That routine was the routine I opened my first Penguin lecture with several years later, and even people who knew the original routine were completely fooled (though that was not my aim). This is no different. Unless you take the time to practice, work and then refine this (making it suit your character), this will always be a pipedream. When you learn the principles at work this routine becomes easier and easier. Note to reader*** There is one thing I want to point out before I get a ton of emails complaining, saying such things as - “you wrote down your prediction on a billet. That’s not billet-less.” When I say billet-less, it means that the participant NEVER writes on a billet or selects a billet. They literally think it and you reveal it. If there was a beer mat, you could write your prediction on that; you could write your prediction onto a napkin; you could write it on your hand; or you could just verbally reveal it. The point I want to make again is that when I say billet-less, the participant doesn’t have to write down anything onto a billet or to select any cards or billets! That’s it, I am now officially rambling. Note: When you read the breakdown for this effect, don’t skip the additional thoughts. I have added the way I have recently started doing this effect in
the additional thoughts section (which I think is much cleaner), and it gives you extra leeway. End of note***
Effect The performer sits with a participant and is able to deduce a pin code or mobile phone code. Nothing is written down or spoken aloud by the participant. This is impromptu anyplace, anytime material.
Breakdown This relies on a really clever progressive anagram. I generally hate anagrams, as they always seem to have too much fishing involved. Just like the name revelation above, this takes advantage of the Restricting without Seeming Restrictive Principle that I detailed in in Bigger Fish. Half the work should be done before the anagram process takes place.
Step One: Determine the Number of Odd or Even Digits Knowing the number of odd or even digits is essential. In most scenarios (and based on probability), there will be two odd and two even. Start the process with a simple question. This question works best when you have not even mentioned you are going to divine the pin code. To start with we have to place a few restrictions in place in order to be able to start controlling the outcome. In the original variation of this effect I asked if all the digits were different, that in my opinion now (a few years later) that is not the most effective way to open this type of routine. Instead we are going to set our own specifications, we will frame this up in a logical way that takes the outcome from 1 in 10,000 to one in 999 (which sounds ridiculously vast, but stay with me). Performer: “I want to obscure your pin code somewhat to ensure that this is as fair as possible. First if there are any repeated digits in your pin code change the repeated digits so that all the digits in your pin code are different…Oh and to ensure there is no confusion, if there are any zeros in your code change those to other digits. If all the digits are already different and there are no zeros in there don’t worry about it.
The problem with a number like zero is that when I am reading a person, I can never differentiate whether that person is thinking of the number zero or I am not getting a read at all as both of them for me I see as an open space a bright white hall. With this being as difficult as it is from the off, I need to ensure there is no confusion”. [By asking the participant to make sure all the digits are different, it sounds impressive. In actual fact by ensuring all the digits are different and eliminating the zero’s we have subtly reduced the amount of possibilities massively. Let’s participant’s code was 1234 – this means their code does not contain 56789. Even if you took a guess a couple of times (which I am not suggesting I am simply pointing out a fact) there is still a good chance that you would be able to guess a number or two in the code. We are not going to do that we are going to reduce this even further asking a clever and covert statement.) Performer: “Have you got a code in mind?” Participant: “Yes”. Performer: “We are ready to begin, please don’t forget the code as it is important”. (This suggests that we have just started and that nothing has happened yet, when in-fact a lot has already happened.) Performer: “We maybe a little bit rocky to start with, right now our connection is foundational at best being that we have just met but after a couple of moments I am sure the results will be great. The first thing that I am feeling is that there is two odd digits in your pin code right?” The participant will answer your question if the participant says yes – Great. Remember this is it going to be important. If the participant says there is not, simply say “How many are there?” If they say 1 that is great – this means that there are 3 even digits this is even easier if it is two to two. If the participant says there are three this is means that there are 3 odd digits and one even digit, which again is easier than two to two. Sometimes you will come across a case of all even or all odd digits, meaning you only need to eliminate one digit to be able to get the four numbers. This is the best type of scenario. In this scenario I would personally place a time delay between the set up to the pin reveal and the actual pin reveal.
The way to do this is simple, simply say to the participant, Performer: “In fact, keep your code in mind. I will come back to it later, I feel I have been a little bit over confident”. Whichever path you take remember the answer that the participant gives you it is very, very important. It makes things later a whole lot easier when it comes to deducing the code. Another way to cut yourself an amount of slack is you can say, Performer: “I am going to attempt to reveal the four digits, just not in the
I personally do not say this, but it is an option open to you. This certainly seems logically fair and buys you some leeway.
Step Two: Finding the Highest Digit In the original variant there were only two options outlined. I am going to outline several other options that I have utilised with great success. Knowing the highest number is important. In some cases the highest number is ridiculously low. This is great for us. If the highest digit is 4 then you know the code pretty much from the off, just not the order of the pin code. The highest digit can give us so much information as you will find out.
One-on-One Situation – Note to reader***I never perform this routine one on one, I save this for when there is a social situation that has a small group of people. It makes this more fun and easier as it gives me a leverage. I am going to outline a series of options for you to try as you may wish to perform this routine one on one. ***End of note Performer: “Focus on the highest digit for me, so I am aware which digit I am aiming for does this digit fall in the first second third or fourth position?” Let them answer. ***Note to reader –
Pay attention to where they say the highest digit falls, if they say the second position, then this could quite well be a year. This greatly heightens the chance of hitting this out of the gate. Let’s create a hypothetical scenario, let’s say we know there are 2 odd digits and two evens. The second digit turns out to be a 9 and the first digit a one – I know we haven’t got this far yet, but bear with me, the likeliness is that this is a year. If you look at the participant and try to think of a rough age for the person then you know the third digit. The reason you know the third digit is that you know it must be even, so it has to 6 or an 8 if the person looks around 30 then you know the third digit must be an 8 (I am writing this in 2016). If the person looks around 50 then you know the third digit must be a 6. At this point you know the last digit must be an even digit (as you have exhausted the odds) it can’t be a repeat of the digit that is in the third position. Let’s for example sake say that we know the code so far is 198 – The last digit can only be a 2 4 or 6. You have a couple of choices, you can either simply ask “Don’t tell me either of the digits the one in the third position or the last all I am going to ask is what is the difference between the third and the fourth digit?” When they tell you the difference you instantly know the full code. They do not know that you the third digit and therefore it never tips them when you ask a question like this. I in all honesty prefer to take a guess at the last digit by trying to work out the participant’s age. We have rushed off a ridiculous amount I know but this gives you an insight into how much information we can get by just knowing the first couple of digits and whether the digits are odd or even. *** End of note. In case you are lost because of the huge tangent, we are trying to figure out the highest number. Performer: “Focus on this digit, imagine transmitting it to me, take your time
and imagine a line from your head to mine.” Option#1
Throw out the number 9 as a guess. If it doesn’t hit do not be disheartened or worried; just be open, tell them you are still getting to grips with reading them and ask them for the number to see how far off you are. You will now know the highest digit, if you miss this digit you cannot fail any of the other digits. If however you hit on this digit it buys you a slight amount of leeway later to have a miss (should you need to). Option #2 If you don’t want to miss here—which I personally have no worries about as it is early on in the routine and you are still coming to grips with the way the participant thinks—and if you have a mobile telephone, you can use this ruse. This will give you the number the participant is thinking of whilst simultaneously proving that you cannot just guess as to the digits.
Performer: “So I can observe how you think, I would like to observe you trying
to send the highest digit to someone over the telephone. This means that I can get to grips with the way your mind works. I am going to call someone and see how you do at transmitting this digit; this is just as much about you as it is me.” Call your friend. Explain that the participant is thinking of a pin code and they are focusing on the highest digit in that pin code, and you want them to make a guess as to what digit they believe it is when they are told to. You have given them a major clue: it is the highest digit!
Make sure they understand not to worry if it doesn’t work, as this is just a simple test. It might be a good idea to make sure your friend knows you are going to phone and that they are equipped with this line should they be wrong: Phone Friend: “I changed my mind from that at the very last second.” Get the participant to hold the phone and to become acquainted with the person on the over end of the line, then get the participant to concentrate on sending the number to the person over the phone. (Ensure that the phone is on loud speaker, you need to be able to hear your friend’s choice.) Your friend over the phone is instructed by you to make his or her guess. They might be right. If they are, great! If not, don’t worry. Address the participant, Performer: “So they know, what number did you attempt to transmit?” Let them openly state the number! This is where your friend will use his or her prepared line: “I thought of that and I changed it at the very last second.” Thank them and hang up the phone. Address the participant: Performer: “I think I have a good enough gauge now. You did perfectly, as he did pick up on the number. It’s just that he changed his mind. Can you focus on the lowest digit for me? This is where we are going to work together.” ***Note to reader There is a little ploy that you can utilise during this, if your friend over the phone is always going to go for 9 (and you know this) if you write down
the number 8 on a piece of card as the phone is ringing, not bringing attention to it. If it so happens that it is not a 9 and it is an 8 that the participant is transmitting, simply point the participant’s attention to the piece of card and take the hit. Either way you now know the highest digit. Option #3 You can utilise traditional methodology here as an out, the trusty old swami gimmick. If you don’t hit the number on head or you are worried at any point simply swami the number onto a billet. If however you hit the number out of the gate you can save the swami for later. I would not utilise the swami for the entire pin, just as a safe guard when the participant least expects it. As a get out of jail free card. Option #4 You can utilise Derren’s repeat it principle in order to eliminate or hit on one number. If you say to the participant – Performer: “Keep saying this digit like 9, 9, 9… (If the participant reacts great, if not continue) - “over and over again, are you doing that?” If the participant does not react you can move into the ‘CUPS’ principle (mentioned later).
Group Environment (Highest Digit) Option #1 In the group environment, you are able to use the same ruse as above (the telephone rouse), or you can get someone in the group to take a guess at the highest digit in a similar fashion meaning that you don’t need to call anyone. If it hits it hits. If it doesn’t, it really doesn’t matter as you now know the digit. This leads you to be able to utilise this line “This shows you that you just can’t guess the number”. I like this type of rouse, by getting the participant to try and transmit the highest digit, it really make them feel like they are sending the digit; it creates a process and is interesting to watch. This also means you can use the line that they were great if it hits, or that you are going to try things slightly differently “...because you see things as pictures or images instead of text.”
It is never seen as a miss, as you have not attempted anything yet! What you have done utilising this type of rouse is further reduced the amount of possibilities. Option #2 You can also at this point utilise the ‘cups’ principle to work out the highest digit. By simply saying to the participant – Performer: “Imagine the number written in the air but not as a number as the word. Have you done that?” Participant: “Yes”. Performer: “Think of the exact amount of letters in this word”. If they say that they have quickly it eliminates the numbers seven/ eight and I would more than likely go for nine. ***Note to reader I do NOT use the cups principle here I like to save it for later. *** End of note.
Additional Thought – Highest Digit While revising this book, I thought about a neat little effect that would ensure the person on the phone got the digit perfectly. This is a very old principle, but I think it would work perfectly for this. Obviously the person you are going to call is going to be your partner or your friend, so you can apply the old telephone trick. I believe this was called ‘The wizard’ but I may be wrong. For those who do not know the old telephone trick, here is how it would work in this effect. Before you set out to perform this effect, these are the instructions you would give to the person who is going to answer the phone. Performer: “When I call you, I want you to answer the phone as quickly as
possible and to just start to count at this pace: 1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...0. “Whichever number I say hello after is going to be the number that the participant is going to try and transmit. “Let’s try this.” Bob: “1...2...3...4...5...6.”
Performer: “Hey, Bob, it’s (insert your name). That would obviously tell you that
the number the person is trying to transmit is a six. I will then openly ask you if I can put you on loudspeaker. I want you to act as though you don’t really know how to divine a number, but you will try. “When I ask you to tell me the number they have transmitted, just tell me whatever number I said after hello.”
As you can see, this is a very, very easy method to use, but it makes sure you take a hit at this point in the effect. This is obviously not the only code you could do at this point, but it is incredibly easy. Here is what it would look like in performance. Performer: “What position does the highest digit fall in? First, second, third
Alice: “First.” Performer: “This is where I am going to observe you transmitting that digit to
someone over the telephone. Once I have observed exactly how you think, I should be able to crack the code on your phone. “Can you tell everyone here what the highest digit in the pin code is?” Alice: “7.” Performer: “Let’s see how you do transmitting that number.” The performer calls someone on the telephone. (Bob answers and starts to count.)
Performer: “Hey, Bob, sorry to pester you. Can I just borrow your time for a
couple of seconds?”
(Of course, he will say yes.)
“I am going to put you on loudspeaker, Bob.” The moment that you put the phone on loud speaker, explain to the person at the other end of the phone what the situation is and that you want them to take a guess at the digit the participant is thinking of. They know the number and therefore it is going to be a hit.
Step Three: The Lowest Digit How this step plays out is solely based off of how the previous step plays out. If you guessed perfectly during the last phase then you have bought yourself a slight amount of leeway during this phase. If you never utilised the telephone rouse or getting the group to guess rouse during the first phase you are open to using that rouse during this phase. Any principle that you didn’t utilise above you are free to use for this digit. This phase of the routine should not be too difficult. I am going to outline several principles that you can utilise to work out this digit. Option #1 – Dekel’s Digit When reading Dekel’s Digit, I was instantly inspired by the simple nature of the effect. It fits perfectly into the ‘observational mentalism’ category. I have made several changes to Dekel’s Digit to make it easy enough to work. There are several things required for this effect to work. The first is that the participant needs to be wearing a short sleeve (like a t-shirt) for this to work (for reasons you will understand in a moment). The participant also needs to be standing. Ask your participant to step forward from the rest of the group, place their hand behind their back (just like they would if they were holding up a number of fingers behind their back for everyone else to see). Address the participant, I am going to ask you to share the next digit with everyone here in the fairest sense possible. I want you to imagine that your hand is a light bulb, in a moment I am going to count from 1-9 when I count through the numbers when I reach your number I want you to do this with a hand. This just ensures that if I cannot read you, I can get someone else to think of the number and then guess it from their mind. When I snap my fingers close your eyes. Snap your fingers. Address the group, Performer: “I need you to keep a poker face, keep your eyes on XX’s hand – this will mean that you all know the number. Keep looking at the hand right till I get to the end of the numbers. If you look away after you have seen the number it will make it apparent to me what the number is”. This is where you will apply another principle, you are going to apply a principle that is ‘gypsy peek-esque’ look away from the participant ensure that
you can see the participant’s forearm – This is going to be the key to knowing the digit. Whilst seeming looking away, start to count. Essentially you are looking for the flex in the participants forearm it is totally apparent when they open and close their hand as the forearm will reflect them opening and closing their hand. If you count slow enough this will give you everything that you need in order to know the number. Never reveal this digit, keep it in your head for later, with this type of method I would always recommend putting a time delay in-between the principle and the method. While this works perfectly, I would personally never use this for more than one digit. If you are adamant on revealing this digit, then never read the participant. Pretend to read the participant first, then fail and pick someone from the group to read. This ensures that your logic has come full circle, and there is a valid reason for the group knowing the number. If you wish to read Dekel’s Digit (there are a great amount of other subtleties and ideas) it is available from www.wonderwizards.com Option #2 – Finger Slinger This is a very easy principle to utilise and just takes a little bit of practice to get smooth at; it is something that is very reliable and works with almost everyone. In this type of routine it will work particularly well, as you have already set up the fact that you are working together (they are transmitting information and you are receiving it) – If they do not pay attention to this phase or do not listen to what you are saying they fail as well as you. Ask the participant to hold up their hands as depicted below. Label the participant’s fingers 1–10 (or one to nine then zero) from your left to right.
Address the participant: Performer: “In which position does the lowest digit of your pin code fall?” (This is consistent with asking about the position of the highest digit). Let them respond. Performer: “I want you to focus on that lowest digit for me. Focus on which
finger falls at that number and just imagine transmitting that finger to me. Imagine travelling down inside your mind to that finger and guiding me there. Before we attempt this, are you coming into this as a sceptic or a believer?” Let them respond. The answer to the question is going to be really important in gauging how they are going to act in a few moments. Press your fingers up against the participant’s. ***Note to reader - I personally perform it as depicted in the photo above. In the original Al Baker piece, this is how he pressed the finger as fingers. (Al Baker traditionally did this with one hand).
***End of note
When your finger is touching the participants, wiggle your little finger against the participant’s little finger, then your ring finger, middle and so on, working your way across all of their fingers. The lightest touch is necessary; if you push or wiggle with pressure, this will not work. You are feeling for a difference in the pressure of one finger. If the participant is a believer, they will generally push back against the finger that they are thinking of or the finger will “stiffen” to give you an indication of which finger they are thinking of. I have found that if the participant is particularly responsive, then they will give away the finger straight away with a little coaxing and language like this: Performer: “You will notice yourself giving this away. That finger will stand
out from the rest. It will feel different and start to make itself known. You are starting to feel it happen now as the sensation gets stronger and stronger.” You will find this is the most commonly occurring scenario, the finger “stiffening.”
This will also be very obvious if the participant has taken your instructions too literally. If this is the case, instead of saying the digit out loud, write this digit and the first one that they said aloud on a card and place it face down. The reason I never reveal the second digit is that I want a time delay between the process and the reveal and also it can benefit you not revealing it now if the participant has literally guided you to it (which some do if they take your instructions literally) in this scenario they will be the only person that knows they have guided you and the people watching will never be any wiser. ***Note to reader, by keeping it in your head or writing down the number when it comes to you revealing the entire number you will get a big reaction from the participant when they see the entire number. This is great because if you revealed it at this point and they had guided you, you would get a diminished reaction.
Another thing that may be useful is that if the participant has come into this in a sceptical sense, they will loosen their finger while the rest will be stiffened. I feel I am not describing this particularly well, so in short - You are essentially feeling for a difference in one finger; it should be very apparent. It will take a little bit of practice to get this to be reliable, but once you have it, there are so many uses for this technique.
Practice makes perfect. A good way to practice this is to have them write down a number, get them to fold the billet into quarters and to switch out the billet. Have the participant place the dummy billet into their pocket. You now have a safety net, if you feel that you are not getting any tell then swiftly move into peeking at the billet and BOOM you can reveal the number. Just to reiterate, slowly wiggle each one of their fingers until you feel one that is different from the rest! It’s that simple. ***End of note Option #3 – cups/ counting You can also utilise the cups principle here, ask the participant to imagine the number written out as a word. Then ask them to think of the exact amount of letters in the word, if they instantly know the amount of letters it is likely that the number is the number one or the number two. If they have to think for a few seconds, the likeliness is that the number is the number three. This is not something that is 100% but it gives you a good gauge as to what the number is, utilising a hanging statement at this point will whittle down the number. Performer: “This number is a one…” (Pause for a second if they don’t respond say, “No it’s a two”). You could also use the wash principle to reduce the digits down from 2 to 1. Counting There is also a technique in which you get the participant to count in a manner that will lead you to the required digits. Address the participant, Close your eyes for me, imagine a pin pad at an a.t.m. when you have that in mind imagine your finger on the button that says the number one. When I snap my fingers, I want you to imagine pressing each button in turn like one… two… three and so on and so forth. When you reach your number and have imagined pressing that button open your eyes. ***Note to reader When you say the numbers, one… two… you touch the participant’s shoulder each time you say a number and set a pace in your participant’s mind. When you snap your fingers they will begin to count, in your head count along with them. When they open their eyes you should be on the exact number that they are thinking of or between two.
Utilise one of the reductive processes for example the wash principle to reduce the participant down to one number. ***End of note Getting this digit shouldn’t be difficult with all of the options open to you.
Step Four: The simple part This step used to be called – The difficult part, I renamed it as I actually feel that this is simpler than getting the first two digits with the techniques that I am about to share. It is easy from a performing point of view, but very difficult to describe as each time you perform this effect it will be different. I will give you a series of tools in order to be able to jazz your way around whatever situation might arise. You have now either nailed an odd or an even digit, two odd digits or two even digits. Either way you have eliminated more numbers. Put not only that you have created a range for yourself to work within. ***Note to reader If the range is that the lowest digit is 1 and the highest is 9 you are more than welcome to move into a traditional method such as a billet peek. The beauty of introducing a billet at this point is that you have already guessed a couple of digits and therefore the billet is never suspect. I however would see it through as far as I could – let’s create a hypothetical situation to display how one might jazz. We will say the highest digit is a “9” and the lowest digit is a “2”; the 9 is in the last position and the 2 is in the third position. This is what we have so far. XX29 We have exhausted an even digit and exhausted an odd digit. I always prefer to exhaust two odds or two evens but we will work with what we have got The digits left are: 3 4 5 6 7 8. It’s a fairly daunting position to be in looking at them like this, so let’s separate them into odds and evens. 4 6 8 – Even remaining digits 3 5 7 – Odd remaining digits
It is now going to be one in three chance at a guess for each pile, a guess is the last thing that we are going to apply as we need to be pretty strategic in the way we go about whittling the numbers down. If the person is particularly good at sending you the number via finger (leading you to the number), you can use the finger process one more time. I would never use it more than twice, though. I like to keep the process interesting. If I didn’t use the count principle or the cups principle for the previous digits those principles are open to me to use for this digit. By asking them to focus on the odd digit that’s in their pin and then utilise the cups principle. If you have not used the repeat it in your mind ploy then you are also free to use that. Use the repeat it in your mind principle first - if it hits great, if not then that leaves two digits - so when you use the cups principle you can reduce down to one from the two instantly. In this scenario – the odd digits are, 3 5 7 I would advise throwing out the number seven in the repeat it in your mind principle the reason being that throwing out the number seven, you have eliminated one of the longer worded numbers leaving a five (which is four letters long) and a three which is five letters long (but harder to count and because of the way that the letters are constructed the participant will likely re-count the numbers). The less principles you exhaust on the front end the routine, the more principles you have to apply on the back end of the routine. Option #2 – The more hooks, the more fish Another principle you can use is one I have used that I never really named, but for the fun of it I will. This was originally published in The Portugal Notes, and I am calling it The More Hooks, The More Fish Principle. Let’s say you are divining the childhood hobby of a female child. Performer: “What I feel with you is that you were a very creative child. I am
getting the feeling that this is to do with a form of movement. I would say singing (wave hand), acting or dancing of sorts.”
The participant will react and tell which of the group it is, if they do not ask them what it is under the guise of being intrigued. On paper this principle doesn’t seem like much, but the point I am trying to make here is that if you throw out a multitude of things in the same category and one of them sticks, you get the hit. In the above example, there were three things I threw out, but it was said in a manner that made it sound like one. You can do this with the numbers in this pin code divination. Performer: “Is there a three or a six in this number?”
The chances of you hitting are a lot higher by throwing out two digits at the same time. The worst-case scenario (or best depending on how you are looking at things) is that neither of them are in there, and then you have gotten rid of two numbers in one go seeming like one miss! If you have not missed through the entirety of the routine then you are allowed a miss at this point. I have purposefully thrown out one odd and one even digit. If one number hits and the other doesn’t – then you have eliminated one of the numbers in whichever category – (the odds or the evens). Let’s pretend the 3 has hit but the 6 has not. There is a 4 and an 8 remaining. If you wrote down the 4 (with the rest of the digits in the pin to complete the code) and then called out the code replacing the 4 with an 8 – if this hits you need never turn over the billet. If it does not hit, then simply ask for the code and then turn over the billet and BOOM hit! With all of the principles that are at your disposal in this routine it should not be too difficult to guess the code. Also remember, this is the one of the WORST case scenarios. If it does happen, you can more than easily go back to the traditional methods of pencil reading or billet work. I find this really good practice. I get a thrill in environments like this, and I can tell you that when you get this, it’s a real rush. I am genuinely using real techniques, so when I am performing this at speed, it is over in a matter of 30 seconds to a minute and I know the code. On paper it does seem like a lot, and I hope you can see how my mind views using principles to jazz in an equivocal choreography type routine. Also remember this is a two-way street. The participant will want this to work out for you because they are sending the information. I know on paper this might seem like it is a long process, but I can assure you it is not! Try it before you judge it. If this routine is not your usual cup of tea, then feel free to pick elements to use at your disposal. Not every pair of shoes fits every person, and not everybody appreciates the same style/brand of shoe. When this works, which I have found happens frequently, this is something that is impossible to backtrack. Additional Thoughts If you do this with a phone lock, it means you can get it wrong a couple of times without the participant even knowing because the screen will be toward you. This means you can try different orders of the last couple of digits a few times without having to worry about failure or anyone seeing you fail.
The way to frame this is, instead of trying to get them to change their code to match the specifications you required. Take a poll at the table to see whose code matches your specifications. The best way to practice this would be to get someone you know to change your phone lock, to write down the new code and to practice this with them till it is smooth. What I think is most important to think about is the way that you question someone and how fair you make your questions seem. Whether you question them quickly or slowly is really your choice. You don’t even have to question them all in one go. You can do a question in between an effect; that way the kicker is that you know their pin code! I have outlined below the phone code variation of this effect in full performance so you can get an idea of just how amazing this is.
Full Performance For this I am genuinely going to use the pin lock for my telephone: 7346. Performer: “Does anybody at this table have a phone with a lock on it?” Several people confirm they do. Performer: “I am looking for a code where all the digits are different, so
that this is a little harder for me. Also if there is no zeros in this it would be better for me to visualise each of the numbers.” A female in the group, whom we will call Alice, claims she has a lock where all the digits are different. Performer: “Alice, thank you for nominating yourself. I have obviously never
met you before, so I need to become accustomed to how you think.
“We might start out shaky, but in the end we will get there working together. The first thing I am feeling is that there are two odd and two even digits in this, correct?” Alice: “Yes, there are.” Performer: “What position does the highest digit fall in? First, second, third
Performer: “This is where I am going to observe you transmitting that digit to
someone over the telephone. Once I have observed exactly how you think, I should be able to crack the code on your phone.” The performer calls someone on the telephone.
Performer: “Hey, Bob, sorry to pester you. Can I just borrow you for a couple
Bob: “Yeah, sure.” Performer: “Bob, I have someone here with me named Alice, and she is thinking
of the code to her phone. She is going to try and send you the highest digit of this code. That is the only clue you are getting. Are you OK to try receiving it? Just yes or no.” Bob: “I can try. I have never really done anything like this before.”
Performer: “Just hold on for a second, Bob, while I explain to Alice what she
is going to do.
“Alice, I want you to just keep repeating the first digit of your phone’s lock code over and over again in your mind. Then imagine sending that piece of information over the phone to Bob. “Stare at the phone while you do it. If Bob gets it wrong, it’s no problem. This exercise is just so I can observe you.” Alice stares at the phone for a few seconds. Performer: “Bob, what digit do you believe Alice is sending to you?” Bob: “Eight?” Performer: “Alice, can you please tell Bob what number you were trying to
transmit to him?”
Alice: “It was the number 7.” Bob: “Pete, I changed my mind from that at the last second!” Performer: “No problem, Bob. You did amazingly! Thanks for helping us. Talk
The performer ends the call and addresses Alice. Performer: “You did amazingly. He picked up on the digit but changed his mind.
That tells me that you are sending the numbers perfectly. “What position does the lowest digit fall in?”
Alice: “The second.” Performer: “Hold your hands up like this, Alice. I am going to number each one
of these fingers.
“This is one, this two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and zero. I want you to think of the lowest digit in your code for me, and to focus on which finger coincides with that digit. So if it is a nine, then it would be this finger. “Imagine travelling down inside your mind to that finger and guiding me there. Transmit that finger to me; this is as much about you as it is me. You have done amazingly. “Can I borrow your phone, Alice?” Alice passes the phone to the performer. (The performer knows the highest digit is a seven in the third position. He also knows the lowest is a three in the second position. Because the code had two odd digits and two even digits, and both of the odd digits have been used, this leaves two even digits. The highest is 7 and the lowest is 3, meaning that there can only be a 4 and 6 in between. He does not know the order, but remember, he can pick up the phone and make a mistake without being noticed. He picks up the phone and types in 7364. The phone doesn’t unlock. This obviously means the combination is 7346. The performer places the phone onto the table. Performer: “Alice, imagine sending me your code. Repeat the entire code in your
mind over and over again.”
The performer punches in the code and the group goes wild!
The Flutter of Black Wings – Robert Watkins with additional ideas by Fraser Parker and Peter Turner By Watkins Effect The Performer asks a participant if it would be alright if he were to guess her bank card number. The participant hesitantly agrees. The performer asks the participant if she can focus on just the first 4 digits (of the sixteen digits) on her card. The performer leans in and whispers something in her ear. She reacts in amazement! “And that goes to show that if I wanted to guess the rest of the numbers I could, if given enough time” says the performer. “Yes it does!” replies the participant. Any time. Any place. Completely prop-less. Nothing written down. And completely impromptu. This is a perfect close up effect, although there is no reason why this can't be performed on stage. No Pre Show is necessary. Method I will start by giving you the history of how this idea came about and then I will describe the principles at play here as well as the exact scripting and presentation, as they are key. This method is bold, simple, and direct. In my opinion it is probably as close to the “Holy Grail” of pin divinations you can currently get, as far as bank cards are concerned. It is not 100% fool proof but pretty close (I have not failed on it yet). This has always been a dream effect of mine. It really does play out how it was described above. It does use Dual Reality, but a very light dose and as you will see this is tied up naturally as a result of the scripting anyway (they will not feel cheated in any way!). Before I explain the method, I want you to look at your own bank or Credit card. And I’m willing to bet the first digit is a 4. Go take a look now if you don’t already know it. If it is not a 4 then it will be one of a few other potential numbers, we instantly know, once we know what type of card they have taken out of their wallet. Note: I usually just go with the most likely choice of card (namely a Debit Visa card) and use the number 4. This allows me to perform this effect anywhere in the world, without ever having to see the card they take out of their wallet, which means I can even perform this on Skype or over the phone, and most of the time I will 'hit' with this effect. However, it is possible to
make this sure fire by taking note of whichever card they are using, as you will see!
History This all started while I was working in a retail position and the place I worked for required us to put in the type of Credit or Debit card used in the transaction (ex. ‘Visa’, ‘Master Card’ etc.). I made a discovery that I verified by doing a Google search. I found that every Visa card starts with the digit ‘4’. I also found that Visas are the most widely used cards in the world. I knew that this could be used for something, but I couldn’t figure it out at the time. I eventually started using it in a routine I do where I guess the contents of a participant’s pockets. I would throw out a line like: “The first digit of your Credit card is a 4.” Of course when they looked to verify (or if they already knew the first digit) they would react in amazement! It’s very interesting how different a 1 out of 10 number guess becomes, in terms of reaction, when it is a bank card in question. Even though the odds are only 1-10, it somehow seems more impossible. I continued to use this in the routine until I brought the idea back out to examine it further. I started thinking it would be great to use Michael Murray’s “Spring Board” principle to get the next four digits. This can work in theory, and I recommend a try, if that is something you are interested in. I personally don’t like using “Spring Board” in this way as I see it as too much process.
Fraser’s Comments Using the “Spring Board” to obtain further digits of a pin number is something Peter Turner first played with and subsequently decided only works well within the context of the spectator guessing the information. This stops the process from seeming as if you are simply asking questions to obtain the information but is perfect when performed in reverse as the questions are now asked with the frame of the spectator using their intuition and trusting their instincts, which ensures everything looks right and makes sense from a theatrical point of view. I have shared my version of the reverse pin using the principle in this manuscript. I feel this is a new approach in terms of how you get into this type of effect via a transition of effect, half way though the performance. This will be taught later on. I brought the idea to Fraser Parker and we had a discussion about this principle’s applications. He started talking about using a whisper to give the participant a certain command based on the digit, for something else entirely. It was then that it hit me. My idea was to reveal the first digit of their bank card by a whisper, but imply to the rest of the audience that you had revealed the first four digits!
Of course, the use of whispers to hide method is that of Peter Turner and an aspect of his wonderful 'Bob Principle'. Pete has kindly shared some of his work on this within this manuscript as well as his exact use and up to date thinking on the ploy of revealing more information than you actually do, using the whisper as your cover! Here is the beautiful part about this. By revealing the first digit as a whisper, it doesn’t give the audience the opportunity to look at their cards and discover that they are all the same digit. It also implies that you had guessed a lot more information, which also cancels out the idea that they are all the same first number! And since this is very private information, it makes sense in the context of a secret whisper. And most people will appreciate the manners! Furthermore, in the event that someone does ask what you whispered to the participant, the participant will not be lying if they tell them you guessed the first number of their card. The audience may believe he meant the first 4 digits. That is a little ambiguity that may occur. We find this doesn't happen and is something we don't personally focus on. Their reaction sells the fact you have done what you say you will do and that they are not 'in on it' or have been told to 'play along' during the whisper, in most cases. We feel this effect should be kept as simple as possible which is why we don't try to over prove any of this but instead let the effect and performance, speak for itself. I am about to give you my full script for making this work, but before I do I want to say that this routine is worth the risk. Even if they happen to have a Master card, or even if the Dual Reality falls apart and they reveal to everyone that you only guessed the first digit, it is worth it in my opinion. I am willing to take that risk to create a true miracle. Aren’t you?
Script The Performer looks to one of his spectators. Performer: “Let me ask you something. Do you know the first four digits of your bank card without looking at it?” Participant: “Yes.” Performer: “I want you to focus on these digits for me. Imagine sending this information to me.” If they respond with a “No” then simply have them take out their bank card and peek the first four digits of the long number on the front of the card, without letting you see. I would usually look away at this point and then instruct them to place it back in their wallet and put their wallet away.
The performer pauses for a moment. Performer: “Since this is considered private information, I am going to reveal what I’m picking up on, by whispering it in your ear. I may not pick up on all of these digits.” I use the line above so they understand before I even begin the whisper, that I may not get all four digits. You can choose to leave that out at your discretion. The performer leans in and whispers: “In order to protect your privacy, I am not going to reveal all four digits. However just to prove to you that I could if I wanted to, I am going to tell you that the first digit of your card is a four.”
Fraser’s Comments Since this scripting was first shared and after both myself and Watkins refined and road tested the method in real world performances, we have decided it is better to go straight in and whisper the following direct statement, “I feel the first digit is a four, correct?” Lean back out for the spectator to confirm you are correct, instead of excusing the fact you won't get all four digits, during the whisper. This ensures the spectator reacts fully to you revealing the first digit, without their reaction becoming diluted by an expectancy for you to reveal the other three remaining digits. You therefore, get the proper reaction that is in line with the perceived effect from the audience's perspective, of you guessing four digits instead of just one, which is then naturally tied up by the outward appearance of the performance itself and the add on line (spoken out loud to everyone): Performer: “And that goes to show how I could guess the rest of the digits, if given enough time.” Note: The whisper, delivered this way, also now takes just the right length of time to complete, so that it fits the perspective of a four digit revelation. All of this should make logical sense to your participant. I like to add a moment of pause right before saying the word “four”. This pause can heighten the reaction, and the longer the pause the more it seems like you are genuinely picking up on this number. Presentation is key. The performer leans out. Performer: “And that goes to show how I could guess the rest of the digits, if given enough time.” Participant: “Yes it does!”
This line is really cool because to the participant, you are referring to the rest of the four digits. And to the rest of the group it seems that you are talking about the rest of the sixteen digits on their card! Everything is wrapped up beautifully. I personally don’t worry about whether they talk about it afterwards because I only use this within a close up set where I am revealing other numbers via a billet or whatever other methods I decide to use. There is no need for other audience members to ask the participant later whether you truly got all four digits correct – IF you prove you can easily guess numbers in your set, using other methods. It will be taken for granted that you can do this by your audience. I am very happy with this routine. I use it all the time. It really is a dream effect of mine and I hope you can see the merit in this as well! Here is a small crib for the different pre-fixes found on the different types of Credit and Debit cards world-wide. Issuer
Prefix (Starting no.)
Visa MasterCard Diners Club
451-, 52-, 53-, 54-, 5536-, 38-
Note: These prefixes should all be the same for card types around the world. However, you should do your own research was well as Google searches to be sure which numbers work with popular Banks and card types used within your own Country. You can look up banks in your area and find out the first four digits for their debit cards. For example Bank of America Visa cards in Manhattan all start with 4117. This allows for the cleanest reveal of four digits, without the need for any whispering. If you don't wish to be as bold as me, by relying on the odds of the participant likely thinking of the numbers on a Visa debit card and want to be sure you know the correct first digit of whatever bank card your participant uses, you can simply ask them to take out their bank card and ensure they cover the first four digits of the long number on their card, with their thumb, as they take it out. This will leave the logo denoting their type of card, visible on the bottom right, enabling you to glimpse it using your peripheral vision and easily know what type of card you are dealing with, without making a big deal out of it!
Have them peek the information, as you look away and then direct them to put their card back in their wallet. Now you are in the perfect position to divine the first digit on their bank card, with complete certainty! Another ruse, would be to simply ask who has a Debit card and let these more specific words do the work for you! To ensure they remove a Debit card, as opposed to one of the other Credit card options. Or if you choose you can ask for a Credit card, without naming a specific brand of card – of course! Otherwise you would potentially tip the method! I would like to make one final point – I have sometimes been confronted with spectators who are aware the numbers on Debit and Credit cards share commonalities. I can usually tell when I ask them to think of one of the numbers on their card that this is the case and can then have them think of the last four digits on the card and use another method to obtain this information. These numbers will always be perceived as entirely random and unique to the person who I am performing for.
Peter Turner – Additional commentary/ thoughts Let me start by saying I am a massive fan of this type of routine – it incubus's everything I like about mentalism. During this additional section I will add commentary, subtleties and added principles whilst sharing the way I look at the construction of a routine. I feel this way, you the reader, will gain an understanding on how I look at this type of material, as a whole. I am finally happy with the way I approach routines like this, the construction/ choreography of effects or routines like these are KEY elements when it comes to ensuring that everything is wrapped up tightly. I am going to treat this effect as though I was pulling apart one of my own – that way I can offer much more value to you, the reader, as I won’t be worrying about hurting anyone else’s feelings. Let’s start by looking at the way that this routine is constructed – In its simplest form the routine follows this path. . The participant thinks of numbers on their card. The performer whispers the numbers to the participant and the participant reacts. Now we know the route that the performance takes in its simplest form, let’s play ‘Devil’s advocate’ for a moment. Why is the participant looking at the numbers on their card and not just thinking of the numbers? Why are you, the performer, not revealing the numbers out loud? What do the audience take away from this effect? Can the audience talk afterwards and is the effect still going to be as strong?
Is revealing one number really that impressive? All of these questions are questions that don’t really require answers as the routine is already tight – But I think to give a well-rounded view of this routine from a variety of perspectives, let’s try to answer these questions and I guarantee by answering them it will completely add to the way the effect plays out. Why is the participant looking at the numbers on the card and not just thinking about numbers? From a choreography point of view, asking someone to think of the first four digits on a bank card and then revealing them, is more impressive from the audience’s perspective than asking a participant to simply think of digits and revealing them verbally. It took me a long time to realise this and seems counter intuitive – let me give you a quick example of why – If you call out the four numbers verbally when a participant is simply thinking four numbers, there is no point of reference for the audience to react to. The only thing the audience can rely on (in terms of them reacting themselves) is the participant’s reaction and if the participant’s reaction is flat then it can completely destroy the way the rest of the group reacts. This is something very important to take into account. IF the audience have a point of reference, they themselves have something to react to and a mixture of reactions simultaneously hide any of the smaller reactions. In short, it looks better on camera and if you are trying to please a potential booker. Side note: If you are ever going to reveal numbers directly from someone’s mind, I would always recommend revealing the first number verbally and then writing the numbers on a billet, placing the billet face down and then asking the participant to call out the four digits and then have the participant turn over the billet – This gives the audience a point of reference to react towards and ensures a big finish with this type of routine. It is something as small as this that can change the entire feel of the end of a performance. **** In this routine, it requires the participant to think of the numbers and then for you to reveal them, so from a choreography point of view we have to do everything that we can, in order to get that participant to convey to the rest of the audience that you were right, for the audience to react, themselves. If you can successfully do this, you create a chain reaction. Because the method in this routine relies on the participant taking out their bank card and that is the sole reason the participant cannot just simply think of the numbers, there needs to be a logical reason for the participant to take out their card (in my opinion). If that doesn’t suit your character, you don’t need to create any reason for asking the participant to take out the card, you can simply, just ask.
I always prefer to adhere to the participant’s sense of self logic, in order to add to the routine. Here are a couple of different reasons to have the person take out their card. Logic #1 Performer: “Whenever I do this people assume that maybe the person I am reading is just agreeing with me to prevent me looking stupid. I want to ensure this is as fair as possible, can you take out your bank card for me?” The participant removes their bank card. Performer: “I want you to take a look at the first four digits on the bank card, this is four random digits and could potentially be a pin code for a bank and if I could divine this NUMBER it would go to prove that if I wanted to guess the actual pin to your bank I could. There is no way you could just agree with me as this four digit number is set in stone. In fact from now I am going to refer to this number as your pin code, to add an air of drama”. This is a great little subtlety as anyone that walks in halfway through the routine will hear you referring to the number the participant is thinking of as their pin code and will genuinely assume that you are guessing their pin and when retelling the story will always sell this false story without you having to do anything. Logic #2 Performer: “For me to be able to even get close to guessing a thought, it needs to be something that is at the forefront of a person’s mind. I am not going to be revealing things that are distant thoughts or things that you cannot imagine. It is always better for me, if the mind has a point of reference, can you take out your bank card for me and look at the first four numbers, remember them and place the card away”. Address the audience. Performer: “Those four digits will be burnt into the conscious brain making it possible for me to attempt to divine them”. *** Using logical reasons, as to get the participant to remove the card, aids in other ways too. You will notice that this type of logic implemented just once will open up doors in terms of participant/ audience compliance later on, during other routines. IF for example, you have a routine in which you ask a participant to write something down, it would never, now, be questioned or be under scrutiny, as it resides under this same blanket of logic. A tiny introduction to a routine like this can kill sub-sequential methodology in later routines.
Why are the numbers not revealed out loud? This I feel is one of the most important questions in this series of questions. It is, I feel the only downfall (if you let it be) in the routine, in terms of choreography, as the audience do not take anything away from the effect, as it is dependent on the participant’s reaction. I sat and thought long and hard about this, I am going to share here several different working methods to approach this from a few angles and in the first one, I even tip how to reveal all four digits, verbally. I really love this, as it is very, very devious and is a way of approaching the routine that I guarantee most people will overlook, from not only a performing point of view but a creating point of view, also. It is a way to seemingly reveal all four digits BUT it lacks a point of reference – so there is a compromise. After the participant has pulled the bank card out, address the participant, as follows. Performer: “Keep the card towards yourself, in a situation like this keeping your numbers safe is key. I want you to quickly peek at the first four digits, remember them and then place the card away”. The participant follows your requests. This is where we are going to apply a whisper, one thing I have noticed after using ‘the bob principle’ for several years now is that the placement of the whisper has to be in a logical place. If you instantly start whispering into your participant’s ear then it looks suspicious and the participant is always going to be asked what you whispered, as intrigue gets the better of the other participants. In this type of scenario this is how I would utilise the whisper and then kill it so that the audience can’t question the participant. I would start by reading the participant, this can be as simple as opening with a few stock lines... Performer: “I feel with you, you are a fairly guarded person, two genuine friends and a lot of acquaintances outside of that, you have finally found yourself and learnt almost how to instantly get a feel about other people and whether those people deserve your time. I would like to ask you this privately first”. LEAN IN AND WHISPER Performer (whispering in the participant’s ear): “I feel it is going to take a while to guess all the four digits, I want you to focus on the first digit and if I can guess that digit it would prove with time I could guess all of them. OK?
(THIS IS WHERE THE PARTICIPANT WILL NOD) I am going to close my eyes and call out random digits I will then look at you when I am sure I know the digit and call it out and your reaction is going to be the only thing that will prove if I got the first digit right. OK? (THIS AGAIN IS WHERE THE PARTICIPANT WILL NOD) (Still whispering) I feel with you, you bottle things up and even though you come across as confident and outgoing sometimes you feel the exact opposite and wonder when the people around you, after you have done so much for them, are going to reciprocate and do the same back for you”. (THE PARTICIPANT WILL NOD AGAIN) Lean out and look at the participant and say, Performer: “That’s very true to say, right?” [The participant will naturally have to say 'yes' as who doesn’t want to admit that they do so much for their friends?] Performer: “Do you mind if I repeat this out loud?” This is beautiful, as the participant will either say 'yes' or 'no', if the participant says ‘no’ the power of this routine grows exponentially, as the audience can never ask what was whispered as the participant has deemed it too private and it becomes taboo. If on the other hand, the participant says it is OK to share, you simply follow by addressing the group with... Performer: “As you know, XX comes across as a confident person most of the time, I was saying that this is a defence mechanism, as XX often doesn’t feel as confident as she makes out. I am sure as friends you know that from time to time XX bottles things up to the point that it becomes difficult for her to cope and she does so much for everyone else that she feels down from time to time when she feels that certain people are not there for her as much as she is there for them. I am sure there have been a few conversations like this in the past amongst a few people sat here?” [Essentially here we are slightly elaborating on the last paragraph we whispered into the participant’s ear, trying to make the timing similar to that of what we whispered into the participant’s ear a moment earlier. We are trying to convince the audience that we are repeating what we whispered into the participant’s ear a moment ago and therefore, by asking the participant if it is OK to repeat what was said, when the participant says 'yes', there is no longer a need to ask what was whispered, as they think you have repeated it out loud anyway and thus, you kill the whisper.] Look at the participant. Performer: “Focus on the number, imagine it written in the air for me”.
[This is very ambiguous, as it means two different things simultaneously, to the participant it is reminding them to see the ONE number in the air, whereas to the audience, it means the full four digits.] Close your eyes at this point, and say to out loud, to yourself – Performer: “6… 3… 2…” This is where you open your eyes and look directly at the participant and point towards them and say, Performer: “4... right?” This is where the participant will react! The key is when you are closing your eyes to seem like you are unsure and you portray this with your face and by waving your hand or snapping your fingers like you are trying to pluck invisible digits out of the air. To the participant you whispered, the following. “I am going to close my eyes and call out random digits. I will then look at you when I know the digit and call it out”. To the participant when you open your eyes and call out the last digit (this is going to be dependent on the card the participant has) this is the only digit that is relevant. To audience you have called out four digits and the participant has reacted to those four digits and therefore you have guessed four digits out loud! They aren’t aware of the whisper, so their reality is that of you calling out four digits and the participant reacts when you have finished calling out the four digits. [This is using the ‘Confirmation principle’ to take credit for all four of the digits]. Wrap up by addressing the participant once more whilst smiling, Performer: “I think you can see with a little more time I could get all of the numbers on the card”. This is one simple way to call all of the digits out loud, the choreography of the routine has changed very slightly but in a way that enables us to call out loud the four digits. Like I mentioned at the start of my commentary, this still lacks a point of reference. If this is something that doesn’t bother you (it doesn’t particularly bother me) then you now have a four digit pin revelation from one digit which doesn’t lack or fall flat, due to finishing with the whisper. This is one simple variant that will completely change the feel of the routine without having the guilt of the participants talking afterwards about the whisper. Never create a moment of intrigue in a routine and expect an audience
to not talk as that is the time that they will and it will bring everything else around it down. Staying in kin with the question at hand, “Why are the numbers not revealed out loud?” what follows is a simple variant I am going to call 'pin code soup', the reason being that it is bold and utilises a group of people simultaneously. This is the simplest variation and offers a point of reference for the audience at the end. Address the audience, Performer: “One question I get asked all the time is, can I guess a pin code – the honest answer to that question is some of the time, dependant on the minds that I am working with. One thing however, I won’t ever reveal someone’s actual pin code in a situation like this, as I don’t want to be held accountable for any potential security issues that may occur later. Let’s generate a random pin code in the fastest and most fun way I can think of. I would like you, you, you and you to remove your bank cards, do this quickly look at the first number on the long card number and then place the cards back into your pocket. Your number add two to, yours keep the same, take 3 from your number and finally how many should we add or take away from his number?” [Nominate one of the group to dictate how many to take or add to the number the last participant is thinking of]. Performer: “You are all thinking of completely random numbers, the next step is to randomly order them. Take this pen write your number down and then pass the piece of card onto someone at random and we will repeat this till all the digits are recorded. When the last person has recorded the last number please place the piece of card face down on the table”. The participant’s do as requested. Performer: “We have essentially created a random pin code”. This is where you are going to revel the number by writing down what you feel it is and then having the two pieces of card flipped over simultaneously. The method for this is extremely simple, just note the bank cards that come out of the wallet or purse. After time you will get used to knowing instantly what the first digit is. In England there really are only two kinds of card, MasterCard and visa – which makes it incredibly easy to know the kind of card. Then follow along, if it is a visa and you tell someone to add 3 you know that person’s number is going to be a 7.
Then note what order the piece of card is being passed around, as that will dictate the outcome of the order of the four digits. You may be tempted to not have the numbers mixed up, it is essential, it adds an extra layer of deception and ensures that the participant’s cannot back track the routine. Because you are adding numbers, subtracting them etc. the bank cards get totally forgotten. I really like the thinking in this routine, as it is simple and enables you to have a way to reveal the full four digits and have a point of reference for the rest of the audience and I love the fun moment wherein the participants are adding and subtracting numbers and then further mixing the order of the numbers, to seemingly, create an impossible pin code. With this type of routine, there are so many different ways to approach the revelation and it is not necessary to reveal the numbers out loud, just ensure that you don’t overplay the whisper if you decide to use the whisper to finish the routine. Of course, within the context a stage performance, people outside of the participant’s friends will never ask the participant what was whispered. In this context the likeliness is I wouldn’t overly try to wrap the back end up. Another subtlety that can be applied in a stage context is the ‘Hoy principle’. This is the easiest way to reveal the numbers in a stage context, verbally and because all of the participants take a seat simultaneously, it is a very powerful moment in terms of staging, as it is a strong visual reference or in this case, more of cue for the audience to respond. What do the audience take away from the effect? This I feel is a very important question, the reason it is so important in a routine like this is because it completely dictates the way the participants will act AFTER the performance. Usually, with a routine like this, if the performance is not wrapped up tight enough then what the audience take away from the performance, is intrigue and therefore the likeliness is that the audience will still want to talk about the effect and fill in the blanks in their own heads. This is simply to appease the intrigue. With this type of routine the audience need to take away something that outweighs intrigue, another focal point for them to talk about after the performance. One thing I have learnt from toying with this type of material, is to use another routine (if you have the option) to ensure that what they take away from that effect outweighs this one and that will be the focal point of the talking… IF you ensure that the participant is happy with the way that the performance played out then they won't feel what took place was sneaky and devious and that they were part of helping you out.
Thinking about it now, I should have mentioned this earlier BUT I am sure if you have read this entire section this will be the most valuable bit of advice. Where I apply the whisper, I would start with the reading get halfway through and then say, “Whilst I am reading you I also feel that with you it is going to take time…” Then move into the verbiage about guessing one digit and then finish with the tail end of the reading. I would then sneakily fit this into the out loud script, IF they tell me it is OK to repeat what is whispered in a manner like this (after I have started to repeat some of the reading). Performer: “I also feel XX is going to be incredibly difficult to read for information such as a pin code, she has a visual mind-set that outweighs an analytical mind-set, making getting even one digit time consuming. I am going to attempt this but I am not promising any accuracy”. READ this paragraph and then READ it again – I have now, not left anything out that I didn’t whisper to the participant and therefore, the participant doesn’t feel they are privy to extra information and will feel that you have repeated, completely, everything that you said to themselves, in its entirety. If the participant feels like that then why would they need to mention it? They wouldn't. To everyone else, this paragraph is still a dual reality, the reason being that the audience believe you are saying it is difficult to guess, even one digit and you are going to struggle. Whereas, what the participant hears is that you are going to attempt one digit as they are still privy to the additional sentence, secretly whispered to just, themselves, of which will have sat in their subconscious. As you can see, I didn’t notice this might be a problem until I focused on answering what the audience take away from the effect. As soon as I asked this question, it also gave me the insight to ensure that during another routine I ask a question that could cause debate (much like a game show in which they leave the ad break on a cliff hanger) in which the audience debate the answer. However, I am not suggesting that you create a game show type question, I am simply using that as an analogy. Always take the points that could potentially be negative points from within a routine and question them as you just might surprise yourself with the solution. This section, I feel, has also adequately answered the question: Can they talk after the performance? The last question on my set of questions and by far the easiest to answer is the following. Is revealing one digit impressive enough?
The answer to this question in short is ‘yes’ – BUT (There is always a ‘but’) it is a nightmare in terms of choreography, because it has to be carefully placed between a set of other routines in an act. This looks to be a pin divination and once you reveal a pin code what is bigger in terms of a revelation/ routine? (I am not going to answer that question as that is for you to decide.) Take into account that you are only really revealing one digit, if you have already revealed large pieces of information such as a name, the likeliness is the participant is going to brag after the fact that they were the most difficult to read and that you could only ever get one digit. I would recommend using that participant in a later routine (using a couple of the other participants at the table) and guessing something substantial and making a very off the cuff comment like, “Ahh... this is much easier, a lot faster, I feel now we are in tune” Or something to that degree that will kill the participant ever being able to say, “He just guessed one digit of mine”. All of these tiny nuances have to be taken into account when performing this material. I have in the past been shocked at the way that some participant’s react to specific pieces of information. I have performed the same routine to groups of people and they seem to be interested in different revelations. One might freak out that you guessed one digit and another would forget that you revealed the colour blue (I am trying to use an analogy using something as equally small) and the other might freak out that you guessed the colour blue and forget the digit. Once you get a feel for making the reading interesting and throwing in other specific hits along the way then you need not feel guilty about revealing one digit as your participant’s will never see your performance as simply revealing one digit. I think this is the perfect place to leave my additional commentary to this routine. I hope you found a couple of my insights interesting. Thanks for reading.
Fraser's TFOBW Reverse Pin One of the ways I have used this method of obtaining the first digit on a Credit or Debit card, is to have the spectator successfully divine the pin number to my bank account, using their intuition. Credit must go to Peter Turner for the use of Michael Murray's ingenious 'Spring Board Principle' to 'Spring Board' from a first digit, in order for the spectator to divine YOUR pin number. Details of his original effect and premise can be found in his
limited lecture notes 'When in Rome'. What TFOBW's principle allows us to do is deal with the first digit in a sure fire way! Ensuring this effect will now always hit, without the need for any 'out', as with the original. Instead of having to justify a change of number, as with my reverse pin guess 'My Pin', from my own limited manuscript 'False Messiah', I realised I could essentially switch the effect I was performing, mid-performance and in turn, get the participant to arrive on the first digit of my supposed bank pin number, in the most direct way! I start of by explaining why I would like to use the first four digits of their Credit or Debit card instead of going for their actual bank's pin number. This sets up the premise perfectly! Whilst at the same time giving us enough room for manoeuvre, in order to change the way this effect is performed half way through the routine. Performer: “I am not going to try to guess your actual bank pin number, in order to protect your personal details and anonymity but instead, with your permission, I would like to try to guess a substitute for this and something equally as personal to you. Have you got a Debit card on you?” Spectator: “Yes.” Performer: “This is something you wouldn't usually give to anyone else to look after. It is something you keep on your person and always put away in your wallet after use and I am guessing, would keep well-hidden when using it at ATM's. Therefore, the details on the card and the sixteen digits are personal to you and could only really be known to you – so there is no way I could know any specific details or numbers on your card?” Spectator: “Correct!” Performer: “Okay, just take out your card but ensure you cover the first four digits with your fingers. Take a quick 'peek' at these four digits and try to remember them. Then place the card back in your wallet.” “Okay, just focus on the first digit of these four digits.” Stare at the spectator for a few seconds and then state the following. Performer: “I feel this is the same digit as the first digit of my pin number.” “So instead of me trying to reveal these four digits I think it would be more interesting if we flipped the process and you were to try to guess the four digits to my bank's pin number.” “You already have the first digit, so just trust your feelings! You can write these numbers down as you go, so write down this first digit.” Make sure you look away and the spectator keeps what they write hidden from view, so you can turn back around to continue giving your directions. It is essential everyone knows you cannot see what they write.
Performer: “Do you feel the second digit of my pin number is higher or lower than the first digit you just wrote down?” Spectator: “Lower.” Performer: “By how many?” Spectator: “Four.” Performer: “Okay, write this second digit down”. “Focus on the third digit. Is it higher or lower than the second digit you just wrote down and by how many?” Spectator: “Higher, by two!” Performer: “Okay, write this number down. And finally, is the fourth digit higher or lower than the third?” Spectator: “Lower, by one”. Performer: “Okay, write that number down... My pin number is actually 4021, how close did you get?” They will be spot on! Due to the fact they start on a number you know all you have to do is follow how they believe each of the subsequent digits of your pin number differ to the previous digit, in order for you to work out what numbers they write down. It is then a simple matter of miss-calling this number as your own pin number at the climax of the effect! I have found it is essential to have the spectator write down their impressions as they go and to check they are sure they are to write down what they think your pin number is, to ensure they follow along properly! If you prefer you can reveal your pin number by writing it down at the end of the process or nail writing as you go. I prefer to keep this prop-less however, and choose to simply 'blag' the number at the end instead of over proving with a seeming prediction and using a nail writer. There you have it! A clean and as near perfect, sure fire solution to the spectator as mind reader pin reveal plot!
Pray Proceed 2 The performer asks one of two participants to take out a stack of coins from their pocket. When this is done, the performer turns his back and asks the pair to quietly decide between themselves which one of them is going to pick up one of the coins off of the table. One of them reaches forward and selects any coin from the stack (it really is a free choice). Whilst the performer’s back is still turned, he asks the participant holding the coin to quickly look at the date on the coin and then to close their hand. Both participants are instructed to place their hands behind their backs, and it is at this point the performer turns back to face the participants. He then looks at each participant in turn and points to one of the participants. Performer: “There is no coin in your left hand. Bring it out and show us that
it is empty.”
He then moves over to the other participant, tells the person he hasn’t got a coin in his right hand and has them show it empty. The two participants now each have one hand behind their back. He stares at the participants for a few seconds, telling the first participant to sit down, as he is not holding the coin. He then looks at the second participant and deduces the exact date! In short, he not only deduces who has the coin, he deduces which hand the coin is in and finishes by divining the date! The participant has a completely free choice of coin, they are supplied by the participants and there is a completely free choice of who picks up the coins and which coin the hand ends up in.
Breakdown This utilizes several techniques that are outlined in this book. Let’s break it down step by step.
Figuring out the dominant hand First we need to figure out which hands are the participants’ dominant hands. You can use any one of the ‘tells’ described above to do this. This should be done covertly. Now that you know which hands are the participants’ dominant hands, you are going to ask them to pour an amount of change onto the table. Never make an effort to look at the coins. Treat them as irrelevant. This is where one participant picks up the coin and quickly looks at the date. We are now in the position where one person knows the date and the other does not. We are going to use this to our advantage. Ask both participants to place their hands behind their backs. Turn around and address both participants. Performer: “I don’t want either of you to say anything out loud. Do you
Let them respond. If they say anything out loud, silence them and remind them not to say anything out loud. Performer: “I just want you to think of the date on the coin.” This is where you will use genuine body language to deduce who is holding the coin. Whoever nods or gives you a subtle affirmation the fastest is the one holding the coin. The other person never saw the date, so therefore they will be looking slightly confused or they will give you a later affirmation than the participant holding the coin just to follow suit. This is very, very easy and was influenced by the brilliant mind of Atlas Brookings. Think about it. The person who saw the date knows the information; it is at the forefront of their mind. Therefore it’s an instant piece of information to recall. They will give it away; it’s impossible not to. You have to act as though you do not know which person is holding the coin. This is all about presentation. So now you know the person. How do you know in which hand the participant is holding the coin? Try this at home. Place the item onto a table and stare at it for a few seconds. After a few seconds, I want you to pick the object up and to stare at it for five seconds in your hand. Take into account the item’s qualities; think about why you chose it.
Place the book down while you do this. When you return from doing this, move to the next page. ...Was I right in saying you picked up the object in your dominant hand? Of course you did! That is what the participant will do, as they have no idea where this is going. When they go to pick up the coin off of the table, they will do so with their dominant hand, meaning you will also know, after identifying who has the coin, in which hand the coin will be. The method for deducing the date will use the
Finger Slinger Principle. The only difference is that they are going to focus on two digits at the same time. There is a real interesting principle here. Let’s look at what the numbers could be. 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 That looks like a hell of a lot of dates, right? However, it is completely simple in its working. If you feel pressure on 7 and 9, it obviously can’t be 79, so we know the year is 1997. If it is 2 and 0, then it can’t be 1920, therefore meaning it must be 2002. As you can see, doing two digits simultaneously is a very easy way to work out the date of the coin. When you ask the participant to focus on the fingers that fall at the last two digits of the date, add this line as a closing point. Performer: “If it is the same number repeated, just think about one finger.” If one finger is the only finger presenting itself as different, you know based on what finger falls at that position what the doubled number is. For example, if the finger you labelled number 9 was the only one that stood out as being different, the ninth finger would represent 1999. It is a really, really simple principle but ultra-reliable. All of these principles are insanely simple and scattered throughout this book. As you can see, these principles can be used in a multitude of ways. That’s where I think the real strength in this book lies, utilizing principles and methods from different effects to create your own miracles.
All of the principles outlined in this book will work beautifully together, also making them very easy to use as outs in times of desperation.
Additional Ideas This is a very simple idea that is not 100%, but is also a way to add the revelation of what the coin is in the participant’s hand. It’s based on this very simple script.
Performer: “I want you to think of a coin we use these days, like a pound.” (Obviously this script is for English money. You would have to modify this for whatever country in which you are reading this book.) I have found this more often than not forces a “50 pence.” All you have to do is ask the participant to pick up the coin they are thinking of. Paul Brook has a very nice coin force in ‘One in the Hand’. I am not at liberty to share it, but it’s easy to find by contacting him. Ben Seward also has a lovely force in his book ‘Cog’. I think deducing the coin adds a really beautiful layer to this already awesome premise. I have also noticed on my travel that most coins in Europe (that use euros) will have the date 2002. Take out a 50 cent coin or a euro and have a look! Derren Brown also has a lovely idea based on this principle in his International Magic lecture. It is one billet-less failsafe should you not trust ‘the tells’.
Full Performance (I will start the script after you have made acquaintances with the two participants. Let’s call them John and James.) Performer: “When I was a child, I was fascinated by Sherlock Holmes. I loved
the way he could be looking into a book when a client arrived, and as they walked into the room, he would command them to stop.
“They would stop dead and he would tell them without ever looking up or facing them that they should come no further. They would stand looking puzzled for a few seconds, and while continuing to read, Sherlock would tell them that they are going to muck-up Miss Hudson’s freshly washed carpets. “The client would look down at his boots and then ask Holmes how he knew they were riddled with mud without ever looking up.
“Sherlock, ignoring the question, would peer over the top of the book and ask the client how the orchard was blossoming at this time of year. “Looking white as a ghost, the client would ask, stuttering, how in the world Sherlock could have known that that was the specific route he had taken? “Holmes would pause for a few seconds and quickly rise from his chair, rushing toward the man in the doorway. “It’s all elementary. As soon as the door opened, I smelt the unmistakable smell of bramble vine. “Those smells obviously emit from trees, trees that only grow in the orchard. Given the weather last night, it doesn’t take much to work out that the ground would have been wet. If the ground was wet and you walked through there, you would have muddy shoes, which leads you to being here now. How can I help you?’ “It’s a fascinating story. “When I realised Sherlock Holmes was a fictional character, I was devastated. Nonetheless, I decided that just because he was a fictional character did not mean I couldn’t adore his traits. “Do either of you have a stack of change in your pocket? “Place the stack of change onto the table. While you are doing this, I am going to be very rude and turn my back. I want you to silently decide between yourselves who is going to pick up a coin, and then I want that person to reach forward and to take any coin from the table. I am going to place my fingers into my ears while this takes place. “When the person has the coin, please touch me on the back to let me know you have done so.” The participants decide between themselves, and one of them picks up a coin and then taps the performer on the back. Performer: “I am going to stay facing this way; I want whoever picked up the
coin to quickly look at the date. I want both of you to place your hands behind your backs, so when I turn around there will be no way to tell which person is holding the coin. When both of your arms are behind your backs, give me a clear yes so I can turn around.” James/John: “Yes.” Performer: “Obviously by looking at you there would be no way to tell who has
the coin. There are a few things I am going to deduce. I don’t want anyone to say anything out loud, but I want you to think about the date on the coin.”
(They both nod and claim they have done this.) Performer: “I am going to attempt to not only determine who has the coin, I am
going to deduce the exact hand the coin is in and then try to reveal the date on that coin. Remember, this is not my coin, nor have I seen it!
“I want you both to look at me in turn, and to try not to give away where you placed the coin. I certainly know the coin is not in that hand, so please show us that hand empty.” John opens one hand and shows it empty. Performer: “That’s one down, three to go. Look at me James. Focus on where the
coin is; you will give it away. Ah! By asking you to focus on where it is, you naturally did what I expected you to do: you tried to double bluff me by looking to a place you know it is not! The coin is NOT in that hand. James, open your hand and show everyone it is empty.” James opens it to show the performer is correct! Performer: “I am going to try to do this very quickly. John, your hand is
empty. James, you have the coin! Open your hands and let me see if I am right.” They open their hands to show that the performer is, in fact, correct!
Performer: “James, place the coin into your pocket and hold up your hands like
this. We will call this finger one, this two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and zero. I want you to focus on the last two digits of the date. For example, if you were thinking 85, it would be this finger and this finger you would focus on. Focus on the two fingers that coincide with the two digits of the date, imagine these two fingers and imagine sending me these numbers. “This is about us working together; you must try to transmit them to me.”
The performer spends a couple of seconds connecting with James and then looks him square in the eyes. Performer: “I think the date is 1992!” James freaks the hell out!
Red John… A cute killing - Murder and the psychic detective This next routine utilises a similar principle to the principle outlined in “Pray proceed 2”. The simplicity of this type of and the payoff make it well worth considering. This type of principle makes my brain tick, I love it when my brain ticks. Although I haven’t performed this effect in the way it is depicted below, I have used all of the principles and I know they work in the real world. I hope you love this simple yet effective murder mystery routine.
Effect The performer is sat at a table of five and displays a stack of blank cards. He then explains to the group they are going to play a game of murder mystery in which one of them is going to be a killer and the others will be innocent. The performer draws a big X on one of the cards. He mixes the cards face down and passes the cards for each of the participants to mix so that they are well and truly randomised and no one could determine where the X is. Whilst the cards are being mixed it is explained to the group that they are going to take a card each, when they receive a card they are to look at the cards very carefully not to let anyone else in the group know what card they have got. If they happen to receive the card with the X written upon it they are the murderer. The cards are dealt out whilst the performer faces away (if you really wanted you could be out of the room when this is taking place). Each participant looks at their card, the cards are collected face down (whilst the performer is still facing away) and are remixed and placed in the center of the table. The performer turns back to face the group and requests that each one of them never say anything out loud, just to nod or shake their heads if they are asked a question unless specifically directed otherwise. To make it more difficult for the detective a good murder case often has several false leads and suspects. So instead of playing innocent all of the group are all asked to ‘act’ like the murder whilst secretly knowing if they are actually innocent.
The performer starts to concentrate and starts to dismiss the people he feels to be innocent from guilty. He starts to call out specific details about the killer I.E the killers star sign, the murder weapon, the date the murder took place and finishes by revealing exactly who the actual killer is from a group of innocent suspects. [You guessed it this routine was inspired by the several suspects plot in ‘The Mentalist.]
Breakdown This routine is incredibly simple and almost self-working. There are no markings on the cards and you really don’t know who the killer is, even after the cards have been shuffled and are returned to the table. You could say you are genuinely using deduction to guess the culprit! You are about to employ what I would consider “real methods” now of course there has to be some compromise. In this routine the compromise is as small as it can get. Let me explain the secret. On one of the cards write. Date of the Killing = 04 April. That is the secret. You might be reading and thinking how on earth is that the secret? Well let’s take a look at the method and then I will outline the performance with a loose script that you can customise to your performance style. Dependant on the number of participants this can be (as few as 2) I have found I like to perform this for 4-5 people. A little gathering I start by show the cards as blank, you can use whichever method you like, Elmsley count, flustration count, double turnover count. The easiest way is to do this is have the card with the writing on face down and just show the backs to be blank casually whilst saying “In a moment, each of you will be given one of these cards”. Just casually show the cards don’t make a big deal of it, never have ‘magicians guilt’ if you imagine them to be blank so will your audience. I then remove a pen from my pocket and draw an X on the card with the date on it. Whoever gets this card is going to be the person that is nominated as the killer. The cards get shuffled (then shuffled again by the group) and dealt out in any order, each person peeks at their card and the cards get remixed and placed back in the center of the table.
The secret to the routine lies in asking them all as a group to think of the date the killing occurred. Remember in this routine you are asking all of them to pretend be the killer whilst remembering whether they are actually innocent or not. When you ask that question something really interesting happens. The person who nods first is the person who is the killer. It is as simple as that. Remember all of the other participants have to make a date up so will all be thinking for a few seconds and therefore will not notice the one person nod before them. I would perform this type of routine whilst having a glass of water on the table. As you are asking the question take a drink of the water, this will subconsciously suggest you are not paying attention. When you have finished taking a sip, then ask the group “Have you all got a date in mind?” This will suggest you are checking they have done what you have asked and you are no closer to catching the killer. The rest of the routine is simple, you know who the killer is. These type of routines are my favourite as the method is taken care of early on and therefore you can now act/ present the routine. I will outline how the routine plays out in a full performance (as there are added subtleties that make the performance interesting).
Full performance We will assume you have become acquainted with the group. Performer: “How many people here are interested in such shows as Csi, Miami vice or Sherlock Holmes?” The group answer Performer: “I am a massive fan, I have been since such a young age. In fact I wanted to be a detective when I was younger I often sat and dreamt about elaborate crime scenarios in which it wasn’t apparent who the killer was and for any normal man it would be near impossible to get close to the killers shadow. I then started doing what I do now for a living and I didn’t realise until recently how I could use my abilities of knowing people to help me solve crimes. I don’t think the police would use the methods I use as they are not scientifically proven as credible but the results I think speak for themselves.
The performer thinks for a few seconds and mutters, “The psychic detective it has a nice ring to it don’t you think? I would like to if just for nostalgic reasons play a game of ‘Murder mystery’ if you guys are happy to play with me. The rules are incredibly simple. I would like you all to think up an imaginary murder, what weapon you would use and where it would take place. Would you kill a male or a female, just create an elaborate scenario in your minds and all give me a clear yes when you have done that”. The group: “Yes”. Performer: “Ok, each of you has thought of a scenario, we need to nominate a killer. The fairest way I have found to do this is take a stack of cards and mark one with an X. There are five of you so we need one, two, three, four, five cards (this is where you casually show them as blank). I am going to write on one of the cards and then mix the cards up, whoever receives the card with the X on it you will be the murderer. Is there any questions?” (There are no questions.) Performer: “Now I have given these a mix up, I would like each of you to mix them facedown so there is no way any one of us that could know where the X is”. The cards get mixed, during the first mix the performer turns his back and says. Performer: “Whoever is mixing the cards quickly hand each person a card, keep them facedown. When you each have a card all give me a clear yes, please ensure you don’t know what is on your card and neither does anyone else”. The group all say they have a card. Performer: “I now want you to cup your hands around your card and slowly peek it to yourself so no one else knows what card you have. If you are the killer please don’t give anything away just look your card up and down, note you are the killer and then place the card facedown again”. The group do this. Performer: “Collect the cards up ensuring they are facedown so no one can see them and then mix them up again and place them on the table”.
The performer looks away a second time. The actions are carried out and the cards are placed on the table. The performer turns back around and proclaims, Performer: “One of you sat at this table is a killer. I don’t know who you killed or how you killed this person but I am going to do my best to find out. Each of you created a fake scenario in your mind about how you would do this and where it would take place. It is a lot more difficult when everyone is playing the killer because when I am looking for one guilty person amongst a group of outright innocents, the innocents don’t have murder on the mind and therefore the killer stands out to me like a sore thumb. I want you to imagine I am a detective, I am going to ask you if you are the killer. When I ask you if you are the killer, say maybe! Say this with conviction. The performer goes around the table and gets a maybe from everyone at the table. Performer: “Ok I would like you all ignoring the year, think of the date this killing took place”. [This is where you are looking for someone to nod first.] The performer addresses each person in turn and asks them what weapon they would use to commit the killing. NOTE*** this is where the routine gets potentially confusing so you may need to read it twice. You know who your killer is, you have to ensure he stays in the game till the last round. You are going to be listening carefully to the answers that people give you and eliminating the odd one out each time (unless of course the killer is the odd one out). Example – If four out of the five people say a knife and the last person says a gun, you would frame your script accordingly to ensure that person was the first person to be seen as innocent. Here is an example of a script in that scenario. Performer: “You will notice that four out of the five of you opted for a manual weapon a knife, this is the sort of weapon where you have to be up close and personal and the most sadistic killers usually use manual weapons. You used an automatic weapon you could fire at a distance, this would usually represent someone who was committing an act of robbery and that only normally leads to murder when something goes wrong with the robbery.
As this is a clear cut murder, I am willing to bet that you are innocent... Am I correct? They will proclaim you are. The likeliness is you are going to come across a group of weapons that are vastly different as most people will try to avoid saying the same weapon as the person before them. That is fine also pick the person you want to eliminate and on the spot work out a reason why that sounds logical. Ask questions like, “Where did the killing take place?” “Is it the only victim?” “What is your star sign?” Don’t feel obliged to eliminate anyone, remember you know who the killer is so you can be playful. Keep asking questions. I would prefer to do it this way if I am honest, it is almost “Voice print esque” (Ted K’s, I am not familiar with Ned Routledge’s). Let’s for example sake create a scenario that is complete - we know the person in the third position is the killer, they say the victim was a male named John, it took place in the woods, their own star sign (the murderer) is Gemini and the weapon was a rusty spoon all you have to do is remember the indifferences to everyone else. Let’s resume the performance knowing the above. We will resume the performance from this point.] Performer: “Wow there is a lot of information for me to sift through to find the killer, this would be difficult and laborious if I were to use scientific means, as I said earlier the police won’t use skills as mine because they are not scientific but you are about to see the results. My powers of deduction tell me that [After asking a couple of questions and eliminating people based on their answers now start to use the participant’s aesthetic qualities to reduce them. Let’s for example sake say that the remaining participants all have dark hair bar one and that participant (with the light hair) happens to be innocent). Performer: “I am instantly feeling the killer is a male and dark haired, madam that means that you are eliminated (the performer points to the minority) I feel you are innocent right?” Madam: “I certainly am”. Performer: “That leaves two of you, which one of you has moved house recently or is planning to move?”
[I throw in a stock line here that generally hits, don’t worry if it doesn’t there is a secondary one coming up that can’t fail. I have found this usually hits. Again this is about your ability to find the indifferent party. These type of routines work best when you learn to almost jazz and be playful, it gets all of the participants in a good mood and makes them part of the process. If one person says they are and two don’t get rid of that person using the lines, “Well you have far too much to think of to have committed a murder, you are innocent right?” If the killer is the person that has moved, say “interesting” as though that has told you something and don’t eliminate anybody. Always looking to eliminate the littlest of parties. If no one admits to moving simply say, “I am really feeling here that someone is experiencing a big change in their life and they have made a big decision or are about to make a big decision that will change the outlook of their future. Who is this?” If no one comes forward simply state, “Ok I now understand why this has no one has admitted to this. I do apologise I promise your secret is safe with me”. Almost suggesting a cheating partner without ever saying it and each person will just assume that it is another person there. After all who would want to say that out loud in front of a group of strangers or friends? Performer: “I would like each of you to tell me your alibi and we will make this interesting, the innocent parties that we have already revealed will be the Jury”. Both of the participant’s give their alibi. This is beautiful because the participants are the ones that decide the killer in the end (if they get it right via a majority vote) you have wonderfully strong ending as you ham up the fact that it was your “reading” that led to the killer being caught. Remember to tell the two participants never to tell the jury if they are right or wrong. This is important if the jury are right this is where you say “Time for the moment of truth, be 100% honest are you the killer?” If the jury is wrong, you then look at the two participant and address them “Keep a straight face don’t give anything away”. [No problem if they do get it wrong remember, for a killer to be exceptionally good they have to be clever and being clever also entails avoiding being caught. You simply say, “To be a good killer, the killer has to have an innate
understand of human psychology he has to be able to fool even the greatest of analysts. I think this time the killer would have gotten away with the murder...If it hadn’t have been for my feelings. You all voted that this lady is the killer when in fact it is you right?” Of course you will be right! For the sake of clarity and full finish let us imagine that the jury had got it right. Performer: “You as a collective decided after hearing the psychic evidence I gathered that this person is the killer. If the group are right in their findings count to five in your head and say ‘Guilty as charged’ if they are wrong say ‘not guilty’.” The participant counts in his head. Killer: “Guilty as charged!” Leaving the routine with a crescendo finish. Either ending is incredibly strong, it all comes down to the reading at the end. That is the moment where you really get to shine. If you really wanted you could add in a couple of clues for the participant’s to pick up on. I would however prefer to be more subtle to garner a bigger reaction at the end. This routine gives you the opportunity to add readings wash away the misses and play on the hits because of the ‘voice print-esque principle’. Don’t overlook this pieces simple nature, these are the best types of routines (the ones where the work is over right at the start).
Additional idea I like the idea of doing this for real, using the method I outlined earlier. For the people that want to be sure fire or have a fall back a simple marked card is the way forward all you would have to do is have the participants lay their cards face down in-front of them after they have taken a peek at it and then notice the marking. Then get the participants to remix them as you look away and then create a false memory to suggest you were looking away the entire time. Another idea you can also throw in that is really nice is the “Close up Dunninger” where you pretend to reveal the date on the end of the routine by saying to the killer. Performer: “Just to wrap up for the sake of being complete and so everyone is all on the same page. The killing took place on the 04th of April”.
When he says yes and you get a reaction from the rest of the group, use the Dunninger modesty ploy of brushing off the applause like it is not needed. This will make the participant think you are pointing out that the date was never a hit whereas the participant’s will think you are being modest.
Credits Annemann – Mr .X Ned Routledge – Voice print Ted K - voice print
Missing in action Before I get into this effect, statistical practice and understanding of areas outside of psychology and magic play a massive part in ‘observational mentalism’. This next effect utilises an anomaly, I hope you enjoy it.
Effect The performer is sat with a group and is asked to perform something impossible. The performer proposes to guess a pin code. He explains that it would be rude of him to reveal an actual pin code as such things should always be kept private. He glances down and notices that the group are sat at table number 36. He asks the group to take out their phones and go to the calculator, he explains that he is going to generate a pin code in the fairest sense. They are asked to type into the calculator the table number as that is a randomly generated number and fate has dictated that the group would be sat at that table. The group are asked to imagine being sat at a different table - whatever table number they desire IF they were going to make a conscious choice of sitting at any table. Now they are asked to press the times key and punch in whatever number they are thinking of and then press the equals key to arrive at a total. Each of the four participants are asked to compare totals to see how vastly different they are. He tells them "The only way they could ever be the same is if they coincidentally thought of the same number in which case they have the opportunity to completely change their number." From their totals they are each to think of only one number (one digit), so that if they were to be put together they would, as a group, be creating a new random pin code. He explains that this is the most random and fair way to create a code and that it ensures that they won't fall into the trap of picking a number that is frequently chosen or feel pressured in anyway. For good measure the performer asks them call out the other numbers in their total, this is to show just how random and different it could have been had they chosen a different number from the total. The members of the group only ever know the number they have individually selected and they never share it with the group or the performer. The performer starts to read the group and with absolutely no fishing whatsoever commits to a four digit number and writes it down. Finally he asks
the group to call out their numbers... The performer's impression is turned over and he has correctly divined the pin code!
Breakdown This is really, really simple and doesn't have to be tied to a table number, I liked that idea as a performance idea. You never have to touch the phones or peek, every time you perform this effect the pin code will be different and the participants genuinely have a free choice. The idea of this routine came from something that I discovered by accident. I briefly mentioned it in the 'Numbers' volume in my monthly series and have tinkered with it ever since. After digging to find similar routines and chatting with a few friends Robert Costley told me about something Harry Loraine had released known as 'The missing digit' in which he called out the missing digit from within a large sequence of numbers. The idea was great and instantly had me thinking and what follows is what I created after further exploration and experimentation. I hope you like it. The method for this is a simple mathematical oddity that I stumbled upon purely by accident and after experimenting I realised why it worked. My birthday is October the 26th - 26/10 or 10/26 if you are in the states, either way it is the same when you add it together it gives you a total of 36 If you times (multiply) 36 by any single or double digit it will always total a number that when you add the numbers up from the total will always equal 9 or 18, or be divisible by nine. Here's an example - 36 X 28 = 1008 - 1 + 0 + 0 + 8 = 9 Stay with me, I am merely stating how this came about. I was at first using the force to bring the participants to a 'random' single digit number (if the total, totalled a double digit I would have them add the double digit) and using Michael Murray's 'Springboard' principle as a means to get them to generate a pin code and then move to the reveal - Which works perfectly as I know the total is always going to be 9. After playing with this I realised it was process heavy and still didn't have a clue why it worked. It wasn't until looking into it that I realised it was because of the mysterious properties of the number 9. Any number that is divisible by 9 will always give the same total Whether it is 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81 or 90 (and any number that is a product of 9 thereafter).
I am lucky that my birthday is a product of 9 - If yours is not you can still perform this effect you just have to lie a little more than I do OR present the idea in the manner described in the effect description. Now knowing the background to this effect let's take a look at how to find out what number the participant is thinking of For the purpose of example we will create a fictitious scenario, let's pretend your birthday adds up to 27 You punch 27 into your calculator and times it by any two digit number. In my example we will use 38. 27x38= 1026 As I mentioned earlier, because we know the total is always going to be 9 or 18, if I asked the participant to focus on one digit and call the rest out in a random order all I have to do is add the digits as they call them out and you will instantly know the number that is missing as it will equal 9 or 18 (of which you will instantly know which of the two it is) here is an example in this case - Say I thought of 2 And call out 1, 0 and 6 I know 1 + 6= 7 Therefore it needs 2 to bring the total to 9 therefore a 2 is missing! You know the participant is thinking of a 2! If the participant picks a 0 in this case 1+6+2= 9 The participant is thinking of a one digit number and therefore it must be 0 or 9 (this is the only time you would ever have to fish). In performance I kill this from happening as I don't want to fish. You will instantly know if the total is going to add to 18 - here's why. Let's for example sake say that this time the math is 36 X 98 = 3528 When they call out the numbers (excluding the digit they are thinking of) the total will always be 10 or more than 10. As long as you can add numbers up to 9 you can perform this routine. A key point to make before I outline a full performance with key elements of scripting. -
The process here is over very, very quickly as each of the participants are doing the maths simultaneously. You have several choices open to use at your disposal - You can pretend that your birthday adds up to a product of 9. An example might be May the 4th. This is the easiest method and just requires conviction on your part. Another method might be to boldly before this effect ask someone in the group what the table number is (when there are no tables). Look at the table across and say "I think this would make this table 9". (Or any product of 9) Then when it comes to the effect just state matter of factly that you are at table 9 and go from there. Or simply ask the participants to type in a random number and then say "times it by let's say... 18". Another couple of variants that are easy - one utilising the old Annemann idea of using the minutes hand on your watch (when it is that time of course) and multiplying by that OR adding Bev Borgenson's time force to arrive at a 'random' number. You are at this point only limited by your imagination. There are a multitude of ways to make it seem random and this part of the performance solely relies on your ability. With the scripting I'm about to outline in the full performance you will see just how quick and clean this appears from all perspectives.
Full performance Participant: "Is it possible for you to guess my pin code?" Performer: "I think anything is possible if the connection between two minds is good enough, I do however have one rule I always stick to, to never reveal someone's actual pin code. I would hate to think I have ever breached anyone's privacy". Participant: "Is that your way of excusing yourself from doing it, I don't mind you revealing my pin code". Performer: "Ok, but we do this my way. We will create a pin code in the most random way possible. Take out your phone, access the calculator. What table are we sat at?" A couple of people at the table in unison: "27".
Performer: "Punch into the calculator the number 27, it is completely random that we sat at this table. I want you to multiply that number by any other 2 digit number, it's completely your choice and then press equals". The group have all done that. Performer: "All of the totals based on probability should be vastly different, feel free to show each other but don't let me see. If any are coincidentally the same feel free to choose a different number". [In this scenario ensure that you remind the participants to remember to punch in 27.] Performer: "I think this shows how different this could have been had you of picked a different number". The group nod in agreement. Performer: "All of you focus on one digit from your total. In-fact to overly show how fair this is (the performer points at participant one) call out the other digits you've decided not to use in a random order remember not to say the number you are keeping". Participant: "1, 2 and 5". Performer: Had you have chosen those numbers this would have been entirely different right". The entire group agree. Performer: "We are going to go down the group and repeat this process". The process is repeated. Performer: "Each of you now is thinking of one digit that is a completely free choice, dictated by nothing more than chance. Had your total of been different this would have been different. There are four of you that have helped out meaning that each of you as a group have created a pin code". The performer looks at the first participant. Performer: "I think this code is more fairly generated than the one you proposed I try to guess right?" Participant: "Of course". Performer: "If I divine this code, would that answer the initial question you asked me?" Participant: "Very much so!"
The performer coolly writes something down and slides it In-front of the group facedown. He then asks the group, one at a time, to name their numbers. Performer: "5872? Take a look". The performer sits back in his chair like a boss as the group stare at their blown out brains on the table. The end.
Additional thought - Stuart Palm Whilst skyping with Stuart Palm, he shared an idea that one of his students had shared with him - It is bold but so beautiful. In-fact test it yourself, open the calculator on your phone. You are going to multiply a series of singular digits together for example - 2 x 9 x 3 x 6 you do this five or six times. Ensure you use a random and well spread series of digits. When you are done and arrive at a total - Add up all the singular digits, does it total 9, 18 or 27? It should total a multiple of 9. Applying the same logic as the previous routine you have a very clean any place, any time pin routine. If you only have one person and they end up thinking of a singular digit you can use this to have your participants think of a playing card or any other piece of information.
Credits/ inspirations Harry Lorraine Robert Costley Michael Murray Pythagoras The number 9 Fraser Parker
Throwaway effects Here are a few throw away effects that can be used on the fly.
Guessing someone’s shoe size This type of effect is inspired by a funny little mathematical formula that made the rounds some time ago. If you have not seen the formula try it out – Go to the calculator on your phone – Type in your shoe size, multiply this number by five and press equals. Add 50 to this number and then multiply this new total by 20 and then add 1016 then finish by subtracting the year you were born. The total should be you’re your shoe size and your age. [The 1016 phase, the last two digits of this have to be the current year it is. So in 2017 it will be 1017). Now you have played with the formula let’s look at a few ways to do this without using this type of mathematical formula. One thing that most people do not know is that the star signs go up in increments of almost a centimetre every time they jump up a shoe size. For example I am a 12.5 (U.K) shoe size, which would be 29.4 cm if someone was an 11.5 they would have roughly 28.4 cm. I round up the 29.4 – 29.5 cm. Most people don’t wear half sizes in the U.K. now, I take .5 off of leaving me with 29 cm which is roughly a size 12. By measuring my shoe to the shoe of the participant, I try to work out how many centimetres shorter their shoe is to my own and then simply do the maths to work out what shoe size the participant is. A shoe size on its own is not interesting BUT when you are creating a random pin code, if you said to the participant I want to make this code as random as possible – In fact, think of your shoe size that is fairly random. If you are a 1 I want you to see it as 01 – this will make up the last two numbers in your pin code. If I can create a natural moment in performance to have my feet at the side of someone else’s (for example) if I was sat at the side of a participant. All I would have to do is ask them to close their eyes under the guise of showing them something else, slide my shoe close to their shoe (in the least creepy sense possible) and try to work out how much smaller it is. The reason I say how much smaller is because the likeliness is because of the size of my feet (which are fairly large) the participant’s shoes will be smaller than mine. I try to work out
Eye-phone – Fraser Parker Effect The performer contacts a friend of theirs to share a casual conversation and at the end of the conversation he proposes to try an experiment. He asks the participant to take a look around the room that they are in. The performer then starts to tell the participant exactly what they are looking at within the room that they are in.
Breakdown Note to reader*** this is something that Fraser used on me personally and I thought it was great! It was so simple and under handed that it totally flew by. I think the reason that it was so strong is that I didn’t expect him to do it and what made it more interesting is that he was miles and miles away. The reason I have called this routine Eyephone is because this is essentially Eye spy done over the telephone and fits perfectly with the few variants of eye spy that I have added here. The method for this is super simple and flies by in the heat of the moment because it is under the radar thinking. The natural way to start a conversation is by saying hi and then asking how someone is and what they are up to. Someone times the persons response is so simple and yet gives you everything you need to know exactly where they are and what they are doing. Sometimes they need say nothing at all as the clues of things that are happening in the background of the conversation you are having is all that you need to be able to piece together what it is they are looking at. Fraser asked me and I responded “Not much just writing” – Fraser knows that when I say this I am either in my office or laid in my bed (if I am at home) – He knows that I am at home when I answer my phone or I would say I am travelling and doing a bit of writing. I ask him what he is up to and then we move into a conversation, he slowly leads to saying that he would like to show me an effect he is working on and asks me to look around the room and proceeds to telling me what I am looking at. At the end of telling me what I was looking at, I tried to think back to if I had ever told him where I was and I had not so it really flew by me. After telling me that he knew just based on my earlier answer I laughed and we said our goodbyes.
Think about this for a few seconds, the people we know the best without knowing it we know a lot of things about them without them having to tell us what they are doing for example when we were younger we used to have fish and chips every Wednesday night. My nan visits my sister’s house every single Thursday and if I call her during this time and ask her what she is doing she never says “I am at Kayleigh’s doing xx” she simply responds “I am just having a cup of coffee” or “having a cigarette”. I know she is at my sister’s house, she doesn’t know that I know she is at my sister’s house and if I wanted to this type of scenario would be the perfect time to know what she is looking at. I could if I wanted be a little bolder and force whoever it is towards an object. Let’s for example sake say that in the room there is a shelf with one ornament on it. If I can guide the person to this object and ask them to think about it I could in theory deduce the exact object that they are thinking of. I would simply work out where I think they are in the room, if I am ever stuck I could simply say – Go stand in the center of whatever room you are in and face the window in that room if there is a window. I now know the exact room that the person is in and I know what direction they are facing in, if I know the details about that room then I could easily direct them giving them “Random directions” towards any object or item that I please. It’s waiting for one of these moments to arrive in order to be able to take advantage of the situation. I think this is a very cheeky yet simple technique – I love it.
An Observational Idea - Robert Watkins This is a very small and simple idea for something I do when travelling. I think you will like this because it not only gets you a free “Hit” on a piece of information (A Name), it also automatically sets up the very second you meet with your participants. If you go travelling anywhere in the world that would be considered a “tourist destination”, the likeliness is that you will end up at a monument, building, or natural park that tourists are crowded around every day. While in these spots I used to always get asked to take a picture from a fellow tourist. They would hand me their phone unlocked with the camera open. I used to quickly go into their contacts, (while pretending to be figuring out how to work their phone) catch a glimpse of a name, and then take the picture. The cool thing about this is the fact that your participant has approached you! They have no idea what it is that you do, and you have already stolen a piece of information and a rapport has already been built. In addition to that, you have just done them a favour making them more likely to say ‘yes’ when you ask to show them something. My biggest piece of advice for this is to not immediately jump into the revelation of the Name. Do something else for them first, and wait as long as you can before revealing the stolen information to create a time misdirection. Maybe after you’re done performing for them you can have them take a picture with you to forever remind them of the experience you’ve given them on their vacation.
Observational tactics I thought it might be interesting to list a series of deduction based techniques I utilise in performance alongside traditional methodology - These techniques I have found have served me greatly. If you are dubious in anyway about any of these techniques try them. I am confident you will be pleasantly surprised.
Do tell I thought I'd list a technique most people will not try first to get it out of the way - It would be a shame if you do not test this technique before making a judgement on it. I discovered this technique whilst looking for a way to improve the percentage rating of a technique I call 'lipping' (which is far from a sure-fire technique) but one I have played with for a long time. This technique I use very reliably BUT I wouldn't recommend using it as the sole technique in performance. To outline the simplest variant of this technique and simultaneously give an example of how not to use this technique as a sole technique in performance we will use playing cards.
Don't groan, trust me it's worth reading and not restricted to playing cards.
Note*** when I utilise this technique in conjunction with cards I use a borrowed deck and perform a variant of any card at any number. I will not be discussing that variant here as it is far too long and detailed to try and give it justification by briefly describing it. End of note*** In this performance we will utilise the trusty old 'invisible deck'. Have a regular deck in your right pocket and the invisible deck in your left (separate the decks into easily accessible pockets). Turn to participant one, Performer: "Don't go for the obvious, name any playing card for me". Watch the participant's lips very carefully, as soon as they move to state the card, quickly say. Performer: "In fact, don't say anything".
Sometimes the participant will beat you to saying this if they do produce the invisible deck. Ensure they know that your pocket is empty. Ask them for the suit proceed to the reveal. If however you catch the participant before they verbalise the card their lips should pretty much tell you everything you need in order to give you the value.
Yet they will not know that they have given you the value. With a slight amount of fishing you will know the suit. Your timing has to be impeccable, when you get used to having the participant stop just before they are due to, you won't believe how easy it is to know what the participant is thinking of (as long as the range is not huge, numbers 1-10 are great for this). Notice how I utilised an out so that the routine came full circle?
It's all in the eyes This subtlety is very simple, yet very effective As an example If your participant is down to two objects in say an equivoque type routine ensure that the two objects are a slight distance apart (not touching). Ask your participant to think of one of the objects and then change their mind, then change their mind again - You will notice that the participant will look with their eyes (mostly careful not to move their head) at which object they are thinking of. This is particularly useful if there is a 50/50 outcome. Not all the participants will look at the object but by asking them to change their mind several times the likeliness is that they will look as it becomes easier that way to remember what object or item they are thinking of.
Nod to letter This is a simple subtlety that you will have noticed but may not have utilised. If you ask someone to count the amount of letters in a word you will notice that they nod their head when they are counting. This gives a good idea of how many letters there are without the participant ever knowing that you know. My favourite use of this simple technique is when you ask someone to think of anything in sequential order for example the alphabet. If you ask someone to count through the letters of the alphabet and stop wherever they like all you
have to do is count the nods. This will give you an indication as to what letter they have in their mind. When they hit this letter you can ask them to think of anything you want, you can force a place or a time - If you choose from a list that is restricted the list should give you an indication of the letter and in turn give you the item on the list. For example if the participant nodded and you weren't sure if the participant had stopped on the letter 'E' or the letter 'F' - Let's for example say that you are in England at the time of applying this subtly by saying - "excluding the country we are in now can you think of a country that starts with this letter?" If the participant quickly responds yes you know it is France - If they are struggling the chances are they are on the letter 'E'. If they are struggling quickly change the question, can you think of a number that starts with this letter? When they say yes you should now know the number is the number eight. This is very thought Chunnel-esque but requires no restriction on the front end. It is a very simple technique but none the less still powerful.
Cat got your tongue? Sometimes we can get a participant to ‘accidentally’ tell us information to help us in the context of a routine, this is something I guarantee you have experienced at some point. The example I am going to use is a date of birth revelation (I will not be discussing the method of the date of birth) one step towards getting to the date of birth is knowing the participant’s star sign. Knowing the participant’s sign drastically reduces them down to one in two months. With a few more question you can get down to the exact date. Let’s create a hypothetical situation, you have literally just met the participant. This is after you have performed a couple of effects on other people at the table so everyone is aware of what it is you do. Performer: “Hi, I’m xx your name is?” Participant: “Stacy”. Performer: “What do you do for a living Stacy?” Participant: “I am a vet”. Performer: “Do you have any pets of your own?” Participant: “2”
Performer: “Nice! What pets do you have?” Participant: “Dogs”. Performer: “Cool, one last question Stacey do you know your star sign?” Stacy: “I’m a Gemini” Performer: “Ah, I didn’t want you to tell me that, I just wanted to know whether you knew or not but its fine… Focus on the date you were born instead”. The participant is guided to accidentally tell you the piece of information. This in writing might seem super silly but once you learn how to do this subtly think about the amount of uses for this principle. You condition the participant into a conversation being open and then honest and then you ask them a question. The participant will accidentally tell you the information, this could be the suit of a playing card, the highest digit in their pin code whatever you would like and is a useful asset to get them to give away a part of a piece of information, making gaining all of the information a lot easier. I am sure this is something that you will have experienced by accident BUT you have maybe not thought of using it as part of a routine.
Does it feel right? I have found that if you ask someone during a routine in which there is a fifty, fifty decision and you say to the participant, Performer: “We are down to the last two, you already have an idea of what you want to go for I want you to clear your mind now and pick up the one that feels right to you”. The participant most of the time will instantly pick up on the object to the right (if their dominant hand is right). This is something I have found from utilising this time and time again in performance. If you have the participant hover their hand over each of the two objects and waiting till they get a feeling before they select one, you will find that most of the time they end up on the one on the left – Again this is just something I have found to be true within the confines of a routine. These are just a few simple techniques that you can use harmlessly in performance.
What do your Tattoos say about you? One of the fastest growing art forms in the world is ‘Tattoos’. Whether you have one or not, everyone knows somebody that has a tattoo. Most tattoos tell a story, or serve as a reminder of a time or a memory. Most people who get tattoos wear them proudly not hiding them, and after they have been there for any given amount of time they become a part of us, so much so that we forget they are on display. This can be good for any mentalist as it is an open scrap book for you to jump into, IF you know the meanings of tattoos or the certain types of people that might go for certain types of tattoo, it is essentially a host of free information that the participant will never know that you dipped into for inspiration. If a participant has a name tattooed on them, even this is open game to use as part of a performance. You might be thinking that it would be too obvious a piece of information to use as a revelation, so let me create a quick analogy that you may have experienced. Have you ever walked into a coffee shop, or other shop in which the employment has to wear a name badge day in day out and then said to the person after ordering “thank you XX” and that employee looks at you confused and says “How did you know that was my name?” They completely forget about the name badge, because they wear it ALL day every day. A tattoo is no different. Readers of these volumes may not know but I’m a tattoo artist. It’s no secret that I love tattoos and at one point I even had a shop, a shop which I had a team run and I tattooed at during the breaks of my travel. The popularity of tattoos grew so much so that three shops opened on the same strip and it wasn’t feasible to keep operating with the constant undercutting and politics of other shops in the near vicinity. I still tattoo now from time to time, mostly on friends who want custom pieces of work or cover-ups/ re-workings of old tattoos. I would this we level – similar
frequently get people that would come into the shop and because of would become friendly and get to know each other on a more personal this was because of the nature of the time we shared in the shop, much to how you might make small talk to your barber or hairdresser.
Whenever I got to know someone I told them about what I actually did for a living and they would always insist on me sharing my gift with them. Which is something I always loved and hated simultaneously, but I met people from all backgrounds and all walks of life and the information that I am about to share is collected from my When I was in the shop often clients would come in for tattoos not knowing what they wanted tattooing and would ask what certain pieces of flash
(drawings/ art) would represent. Which means that a hell of a lot of tattoos were selected based on meaning and weren’t designed by the individual or artist and therefore by looking at those type of tattoos you could (if you knew the type of tattoo) tell the person what sort of experiences they have been through in life. Before we get into the custom designed tattoos, let’s look at standard flash and their meanings.
Tribal With this first type of tattoo I have outlined what kind of reading would fit someone who has this type of tattoo – Things I know fits this type of person based on the types of people I have met personally. I will not be outlining a reading for each kind of tattoo, if you want to know how to construct readings see the readings volume in this series (vol#2) it should be easy to create a reading from the outlines I will provide for each type of tattoo. I am going to provide my findings AND the meanings that are outlined in the tattoos and meanings book I read so many times while in the studio. Tribal tattoos I have found are more popularly worn (couldn’t think of a better word) by males, males from a sporty/ athletic background. This is probably someone who likes to work out, will spend a good amount of time in the gym. Tribal tattoos are tattoos that accent biceps, that’s why you will notice body builders or wrestler types sport them more so than the average person. That type of person will be their own biggest critique, they are probably slightly obsessive and regimented. They will be independent and will often be very goal orientated. A little bit boisterous, I have found that as the person gets older they often regret the tribal tattoo and the amount of time I had people asking if I could cover it or remove the tribal was staggering. You also tend to find these sorts of tattoos are usually the ones that are done at home by a friend (which can dependant on the quality of the tattoo open up avenues into how they live their private life). If you find that it is done at home (you can tell by looking) the person will likely be the sort of person that is a bit of an experimenter, someone who is probably a tinkerer and has tried a variety of hobbies. These types of people are normally people from a tougher background (based on a higher probability) or the exact opposite someone wanting to appear tougher than they are and you can bet the type of music they are into is popular music. They are people who prefer the company of others instead of a life of solitude, tend to think that loyalty and friendship is more important than material things.
This is the type or reading that I might give that person, based on that simple tattoo. Performer: “The first thing that really jumps out at me is that in past you were not as savvy at making decisions as you are now. I feel everything back then happened for a reason, to make you the person that you are now. You are also getting better at surround yourself with decent people. In the past have really trusted people’s word and then when they low and behold they didn’t deliver what they promised to deliver. I think that is one of the things that really gets to you, the reason it gets to you is that you see yourself as a person seen that is loyal and would have done anything for them. You are the sort of person that has had to in the past deal with more past adversity than most. Certainly more than anyone should have to deal with and because of that you have learnt to develop a thick skin, but even though you come across as being tough I think secretly those that come to know you and I mean really know you, know that underneath it all you are really a giving and overly caring person. You can seek solace in the fact that you are the sort of person that learns from your mistakes and that is why others value your trust so much. You are finally chipping away at several goals you made yourself a little over a year ago so you know you can very much achieve anything you set your mind to. This is obviously a short reading but you get the picture, it is easy to use these types
Flowers Flowers are the most common tattoo used to cover-up other tattoos of a name of someone the participant will want to forget from their past. With a little bit of getting used to looking for the cover-up, you can often spot the name as it will still show through the flower (cover ups are hard to completely cover the previous tattoo). More often than not the tattoo will be darker than it should be, most of the time towards the center of the tattoo this is a good indication of the flower being a cover up. Check to see if the flower is darker than it should be, if this is the case then the likeliness is that it’s a cover up. Try to see through the cover up and get a feel for what the name is, it is a lot easier than you would believe. Purple tattoos are usually the colour that people use when colouring flowers to cover up other pieces of information. When I worked in the studio the people that tended to get flowers were often people that were easy going, more relaxed and tried to live a stress free life. The kind of flower that the person asks for is very important to look at to gauge things about the participant.
A white lily will often give you the indication of someone who had passed away and often a very relevant date that is associated with that person will be underneath the flower and a name or initials also. Of course if you see a date which you wish to use as a revelation (I would highly advise not revealing the date of someone’s passing – but horses for courses), psychologically try to distance your revelation from the numbers. I.E For example - 2.2.2012 would be the second of February 2012, the first thing is trying to lead them to that piece of information so that when you reveal these numbers it was their choice and they seemingly could have picked anyone. If you said to them for example, I want you to think of somebody else’s date of birth, go for someone you know the star sign of – Now when you reveal the star sign, if it is coincidentally the same sign as the sign that falls into the date that they have tattooed on them, it is highly probable that it is one in the same… NEVER be too perfect, be off by one day – if you had read the tattoo then, why would you be off by one day? It completely kills the fact that you might of read the tattoo it will never even enter their mind. This is a very nice psychological ruse that is subtle but restricts people from connecting the dots between the tattoo and the information you are revealing, I would suggest applying that logic to the rest of the tattoos outlined here. Roses would symbolise a delicate natured soul, a representation of love, inner and outer beauty and a relaxed overall view on life. It can be a symbol of being in love particularly when the rose is without thorns, or with thorns it can be a reminder that love does not come without certain sacrifices. Even the thorns on a tattoo can have meaning, most people carefully plan tattoos because they have such sentimental meaning. When thorns are present on the tattoo, it means the person does not place a great deal of emphasis on outer beauty. This person also realises that just because something on the outside looks great doesn’t mean it is and everything in life has consequences. The rose in tarot is considered to be the symbol of balance. So it could represent a person who is the go to person in times of crises. It represents someone who is trust worth, bubbly/ outgoing and full of life. It suggests that the person who knows when they need to be responsible and is often a leader in social situations. The beauty of this flower expresses promise, hope, and new beginnings but when contrasted by thorns will symbolize defence, loss, and even thoughtlessness. Never mention anything negative, rather frame the negative as a positive in order to gain rapport. For example Performer: “With everything going on in your life right now and your nature to be attentive to everyone else’s needs you can often overlook things and at
times be less thoughtful with your own needs and requirements. You really need to start putting your own needs and wishes first sometimes”. The number of petals on a rose can be associated with numerology. The number of flowers is often a good representation of the number of children someone might have. This was very, very common in the studio that I worked in. Numerology systems are becoming very popular grounds for a reading. All of these tiny details can be used to give a reading, which is accurate. Focus on whether or not the rose is open or still in a bud – This is a very important type of tattoo. Interestingly; if the bud is closed it can often symbolize the start of something new/ the start of a new chapter BUT more often than not I have found that women who have a closed rose bud tattoo amongst others that are open would have this tattooed this way as a symbol to represent the loss of a child (more often than not a baby). I would NEVER recommend you talking about such things, in-fact I am asking you not to. The only reason I am sharing this information is to give you an insight into just how much meaning certain tattoos can have and how much the intricate details on that tattoo can change the meaning of the tattoo. The colour of the rose can have different meanings also. Yellow rose historically meant jealousy – I highly doubt people would get yellow roses now to signify this but to base a reading off of then this is something that should not be overlooked. Again, with this type of reading be tactful don’t use words like jealousy beat around the bush, fluff out the reading and create rapport. For example Performer: “You’re the type of person that often sees what others have and wonders why after all the hard work you put into life and your career you don’t have the same. This can often get you bothered and lead to bouts of questioning yourself”. You can certainly get a feel for how I am reframing things to be favourable even when they are seemingly unfavourable traits. Yellow is also a symbol of happiness, safety against envious lovers and a mature love. Red roses I have found often represent one of two things. Love and loss The biggest way to tell the difference very quickly is to look for a date on the tattoo. If there is a date it normally represents loss. Pink roses will represent healing, gentleness, grace, elegance and virtue. They represents a new chapter in someone’s life, maybe the start of a new relationship or the scars healing from an older relationship.
Black roses are a symbol of death, farewell and darkness, not to be mistakenly used morbidly but more as a memorial. I have only ever tattooed two black roses and these were both associated with gothic type personalities. One of these people were I could see were obviously gothic (based on their clothing), the other you would have never have known based on their opinion in a million years – But had I have seen the tattoo, I could have quite easily have guessed this and talked about his/ her binary lifestyle. I could have talked about the type of music he might have been into and so on and so forth. Purple roses are for enchantment and for love at first sight. Again this doesn’t mean that the person falls in love at first sight. It represents someone who can quickly become attached, often acts before thinking and thinks more with their heart instead of their head.
Names/ words Names are very popular; they were the most popular type of tattoo while I was working in the shop. Because of the popularity of names, it means there is a wealth of information for free inked into your participant. Words will also give us a wealth of information about a person and their past/ present adversities. For example the word “freedom” might suggest someone has been through hard past times and has felt like escaping. This person will have probably have been depressed in the past and that tattoo is a little sign for them to look at every time they feel slightly down (it acts as a reminder). It might also suggest moving into the world on their own (if they are early twenties). The person getting the reading will never suspect you looked at the tattoo to get all of this information. Names can be used also, never throw out a name straight out of the gate if you reading Paul on someone’s body say “I am seeing Phil or a Paul or some P name”. This will be a hit! Try as best as you can to be covert when you are trying to read a tattoo for example if the participant is wearing a white shirt or t-shirt ask him/ her to take a step back, take hold of their arm and press the shirt against their skin just briefly. Don’t be rough this is meant to be casual whilst you are talking. The tattoo will show straight through the shirt if they have a name on their arm you will be able to see it. If you notice the tattoo is on the shoulder blade (which is where most females have names tattooed) just as you ask them to visualize something on a screen in-front of them (or whatever your visualisation process is) and press your hand against their back (if they are wearing a shirt the likeliness is that it will be uncovered).
The best time to apply this type of principle is during another routine that has a determined outcome, where the movement of the participant will not seem anything but innocent and then save the information and use it in the middle of the routine and finish on the determined out.
Chinese symbols I would suggest downloading the flash for the symbols; or alternatively walk into a tattoo studio and take a picture on your phone of the flash they have on their wall (of Chinese symbols). There is not that many symbols, most people have Chinese symbols will have the same ones without realising it! Learning the symbols are easy, it is like learning a new alphabet. Unless of course the person brought in their own art work (which is less common than you might think). If you can read the symbol they have on them this can reveal the most amazing of things and it doesn’t matter if the tattoo is on display as they will never know that you know how to read the symbol! Some say Boy, Girl (suggesting they have a child) some say Love/ loss (suggesting they have loved or lost). The Chinese symbols are by far the easiest way to give any reading as the person will never for a moment think for a moment that you looked at their tattoo. You could snap a photo of the flash (as already mentioned) and have it saved on your phone and just the flash as a crib.
Butterflies Butterflies are common tattoos, you will notice that they are very popular amongst more mature females for a first tattoo. It suggests maturity in thought, appreciation of time and leaving behind stress. The start of a new chapter in life, someone who has been through hard times and was at a standstill in their life but has now moved forward. There is not much I can really share based on butterflies, except again the number can represent the number of children. If there is two and one is blue and one is pink, the colours can represent the sexual orientation of the person also.
Five stars/ Labrys These tattoos were also asked for fairly frequently and hold a mostly hidden meaning but a very obvious meaning to anyone in the know – they were representative of someone who appreciates the same sex. The labrys looked like a double axe and the stars either ran up the wrist or over the shoulder blade. I tattooed the stars many, many more times than the axe.
I must point out that I am not homophobic in any sense and again I am only providing this information, to give you a well-rounded view on the meaning of tattoos. The main difference between the stars and the axe is that often the axe will represent someone who has not come out yet and is comfortable with the idea of being interested in the same sex, just not comfortable of the people closest to her finding out. The stars more often than not represent someone who has come out, but not always… The stars are more pleasing to look at than the axe. The people that have come out will have at some point had to live a secret life and that cannot have been pleasant in the slightest. Be tactful whenever dealing with a subject like this and be very careful not to offend someone as that is never right in any context. Whatever your opinion is, remember you are reading a person with feelings.
Tramp stamp You for the and
may, or may not have heard of a ‘tramp stamp’ it is merely just a nickname the area of the tattoo and in no way represents that the person who has tattoo is a tramp or a slag. The tramp stamp was popularized by porn stars is the tattoo that is on the bottom of a females back.
The reason it is known as a tramp stamp is because of the position that the person has to be in for the tattoo to be most appreciated and seen. Again, I do not mean to be rude pointing this out and don’t intend to offend anyone, it is literally just the slang associated with this type of tattoo. What it suggests more often than not is that the person has had more of a free life and is comfortable with their own company. Headstrong and easy natured (no pun intended) the sort of person that is probably not very time conscious and socially unorganized. Which isn’t a bad trait, so be tactful!
Notes Never ask to see the tattoos or make a point of pointing them out, unless of course you are giving a reading based on the tattoo. Always covertly look at the tattoo, remember this is just an aid when giving readings. It will often give you several pieces of information for free (if you use it wisely) and if you manage to capture the glance of a hidden tattoo a name or a date you have an amazing piece of information at your disposal. Use this wisely and I promise you it will serve you well, I have had some incredible moments from utilising these simple subtleties.
INTERROGATING THE INNOCENT – Geraint Clarke Note to reader*** Before we get into Geraint’s contribution, let me tell you a story about this man. I was aware of Geraint’s presence in the magic community long before I had ever met him. Our meeting was an interesting one, a meeting that was doubly impressive. Let me explain, when I first met Geraint we were at the Blackpool convention (2013) and we got to talking and jamming his ideas were incredible. The interesting thing about Geraint is he thinks about the way he choreographs a routine to ensure that it has the maximum impact. The thing that I think is the most endearing about Geraint is his patience. When a performer has a piece of information that the participant does not know they have, the performer often rushes into revealing that information. Geraint always ensures he is revealing it at the perfect moment, he has learnt to be patient and the one thing I am still learning myself is something that Geraint has mastered already. When a routine has completely gone my way and the boldest moment has paid off and I am about to move into the reveal I cannot help but smile. Geraint keeps a completely straight face, you never know whether he has hit or not and this means the routine always plays bigger towards the back end. The reason that Geraint made such an impression when I met him was because he has such a great presence as a person. After we had jammed he gave me a DVD of his called “The Eden project”. I placed the DVD into my bag and then left. When I got home a couple of days later I had some down time, so I took the DVD and opened it and on the case it said “Pete, I won’t tell anyone else that your pin code is 7346. I hope you enjoy the DVD mate”. I smiled from ear to ear! It made watching the DVD all the more interesting. I have changed my pin since. Geraint’s contribution is one that I know you will love, once you read it I bet you won’t believe just how generous he has been. End of Note*** - Geraint’s contribution When the BBC released Sherlock in 2010, I became obsessed with emulating the title character's powers of deduction. Using observation as the public-method to my magic. It's easy to explain mentalism away as just reading someone, or being observant. The spectator will exclaim that its body language, and many mentalists profess that it is, but it rattled me to see the reactions of people when you take that away... and observation becomes the method, instead of the scape-goat.
I've had burley men stunned to silence and women claim they can actually feel a spiritual connection between us. I used these newly acquired powers for evil. Blagging VIP Areas in clubs, free bottles of champagne, girl’s numbers and larger tips at my gigs. When you leave no explanation, the audience chooses their own. Your refusal to dismiss it merely confirms it. They convince themselves, and it feels truer than it ever could have been if you'd just told them.
WHAT IS OBSERVATIONAL MENTALISM TO ME? Many men greater than me have far more work in this area than I could dream of. To me, it's natural and obvious. Born, like most of my original effects, through a challenge. Often at gigs I was asked "Tell me what I'm thinking then" and I could shush that micro-heckle with a "You were thinking that you hope I can't actually do this, so your wife doesn't find out." The rest of the group would cheer and laugh and I could continue with my set. It's only when I started to place myself two steps ahead of my audience that gave myself an incredible advantage. What if I told you to stack a deck of cards and perform nothing? Get a peek during performance and fail. To find a spectators card and never reveal it. You'd think it's pointless. Observational Mentalism, to me, is doing the dirty work for 5 effects, and performing none of them - Until the right moment. Tailoring each reveal into an effect you've never performed before. When performing at a wine bar in Swansea one evening, my next table was a group of friends that had clearly come from work. During my first 2 tricks none of them swore/cursed. I took a mental note. Then during a key effect, I asked to borrow some keys and I noticed an owl keyring on a lady's set of keys. Knowing that my mother was a Teacher, and all of her gifts from her class each year were wise owl cards, keyrings and mugs, I decided this woman must be a Teacher. I was right.
Saving that information until after the key effect was over. I asked her to write down what she did for a living in her phone notepad. Then moving on to performing 2 other effects for the same group... I waited. A shark can smell a drop of blood 1 mile away, and your audience will hunt you in the same way if you wet their appetite with a trick that never comes. Finally someone courageously comes forward as I finished my set. "Wait, you didn't tell us what she did for a living?" I wrote it on a blank-backed business card and left it face down in their hand. "This doesn't always work, so before you look at this I just want to thank you for being so lovely tonight. I have to perform for the other tables now, but feel free to grab me later if you want to see more. Have a great night." I walked away like a cool guy avoiding an explosion and they went nuts. Peter Turner always says "Be bold", and like him I was never afraid to fail. Most of my gigs were for alcohol-infused patrons in cocktail/wine/champagne bars. They wouldn't remember 1 failed trick out of 5 incredible ones. I had no fear of turning a guess into a trick. Arming myself with ANY information I could to close with a moment more sincere, more real than the double lift I started with. Forcing the situation became the answer. What tricks could I perform that made people unknowingly give me all the information I needed. Could I ask them to make one action during an effect as a smoke-screen for another? I began interrogating the innocent without them ever even knowing.
HOW DO I FORCE THE SITUATION? The example I'll use here is phones. They're everywhere. Observing a restaurant and you'll see couples who look at their screens instead of into each other’s eyes. When someone's on their phone, others subconsciously reach for theirs too, as if they're missing out. TRY IT. Go out for dinner with a friend. Set a timer on your phone for 4 minutes and wait. When it rings pretend to deny the call and text the caller quickly to say you're busy and will get back to them later. Your friend will grab their own phone whilst you’re busy texting, 9 out of 10 times.
Before finger-print iPhones, they used to have to enter their passcode and I'd shoulder-surf them for it while they assumed I was too busy to notice. Every friend, magician at a convention and family member had their passcodes saved in a notepad in my phone for the right time to reveal. Alan Rorrison's passcode was in my phone for an entire year before I chose to reveal it on my Eden Project DVD. I had Pete Turner's passcode before I'd even met him. When performing Non-Toxic, (my version of the classic add-a-number method) I started to force spectators to give me their codes without them ever knowing it. The trick has 2 phones in play. Theirs and mine. During the routine I was able to shoulder-surf their passcode as they opened their phone to make the call. With the correct time-misdirection, they'll never put 2+2 together to guess the method that you “just saw it” when they got their phone out earlier. Revealing their passcode I swipe up on the iPhone control panel and view what song they were last listening to. Saving that information for later also. Routining your set to gather information for potential reveals is essential to getting the best from an audience. It's often the trick that affects them the most. Leaving an indelible mark on their perception of reality. Can you peek the last 3 digits of a serial number on a bill in their wallet as you borrow their credit card? Can you peek the last song they were listening to on their iPhone as you use their torch for an effect? You'll surprise yourself on how much more you can achieve from your performance when you force situations for observational mentalism.
HOW DO I USE IT THOUGH? So I'll give you 3 examples of how I use it in my current sets to give an added boost to my performance.
PASSCODE If I spot a passcode in performance I'll get 2 other spectators to get their debit cards out and think of the last 4 digits of the 16 digit number on the front of each card. Those that are familiar with mentalism will know how I reveal the first two spectators numbers.
For the 3rd spectator, I escalate and ensure their phone and purse is away. I say "What do you want me to guess, the numbers on your bank card like these 2, or your phone’s passcode?" Everyone will dive in to tell you to guess the phone's code and I go from there. For all those reading this. Inbox me 'PASSCODE' on social media and I'll give you full access to my DVD the Eden Project's Passcode section on the way in which I reveal this. I always gesture towards the middle of 4 numbers with my hands and force them to think of the third number when saying "Just think of one of the numbers in there". Even Derren's writer Stephen Long went for it, and he thought he was throwing me off. Voilà. A passcode reveal using your observation that they'll never reverse engineer. TIP: To force someone to type in their passcode, instead of using their fingerprint, simply give them something to hold in their dominant hand. A drink, prediction or deck of cards you were using from earlier. It absolutely works and was something suggested to me by Lloyd Barnes years ago to force spectators to type their passcodes slower. (Some people were too fast to observe)
PASSBOOK/WALLET Double-tapping the home button on an iPhone when locked will give you a glimpse at the Apple Wallet. When revealing a passcode during a routine, I do this when 'attempting' to gain access to their phone. If their bank card is installed it will give you the last 4 digits of their debit/credit card. Without you ever going near their wallet. Now you could turn your back, ask them to take their card out and remember the last 4 digits before putting it away. WOW. Last weekend at an event I saw someone had a Ticket Source pass for Ice Skating coming up in November. My reveal was "You've recently been wanting to get in the Xmas mood after Halloween and you've booked something. Something you don't think you're very good at. Something you don't do often. Does this make sense?" They nodded and I wrote down Ice Skating for the reveal, which was mindblowing to them.
FATE 2.0 Years ago I had a routine in a PDF called Fate. I've adapted the routine and started to ask people to listen to a song on headphones. Any song. Thanks to Apple Music & Spotify, this is now possible. They pause it, lock the phone and pull the headphones out. Promising to come back to it, I ask them to remember the song and artist as I perform a few other effects. One of those effects is Angle Z by Daniel Madison, but with a special £5 note gimmick that reveals the corner inside the bill. Using their phone I swipe up to access the torch and get a peek at the song they are merely thinking of. Saving that for the denouement. I shine the torch into the bill to show the corner is clearly inside, much like holding it up to the sky to see the Queen's face on UK bills. Then I give them their phone back to put away. Taking the phone and any suspicion that I peeked the song away for my reveal later on. The truth is that those tricks are presented as forgotten ones. "Oh sorry, I almost forgot, do you still remember the song from earlier? ... Let's try this" It's a task or challenge that I never give an explanation for. In their head it's not a trick I was confident in like the others I presented so surely. For me it's the only way to get my spectators invested in me as a person. They want me to succeed, but it's re-framed, so in their head - they challenged me. From now on you need to embody this ethos. A way of life that sees you noticing the car badge on a man key's to know what car he drives. Guessing a lady’s profession by the fact that she's wearing flat dolly shoes in Las Iguanas at 7pm on a Thursday or checking your friends pin code when he's paying for coffee to reveal in a trick 3 months later. The chicken and the egg paradox suggests there is no one without the other. But the Chicken is actually a chicken, and the egg is potentially a chicken. In philosophy, actuality trumps potentiality, so the Chicken came first. In mentalism potentiality wins, hands down. You might perform it, you might not, but you always have to arm yourself as if you are.
- Geraint Clarke
The last four – Connor Walsh Note to reader*** this is Connor Walsh’s first contribution to any mentalism related product. He is a young, enthusiastic mentalist from the U.K. who I hope will keep on working away at his ideas and refining them. He has a lot of talent and I feel this won’t be the last we hear of him. I am proud to be able to write his first contribution to the art in my monthly series. The contribution you are about to read is have taken a series of our ideas and combined them. When Conner first contacted me, he sent me the outline of his idea and asked if I had seen it written anywhere. I sent him a message back containing my work on the subject in pdf form. We took both of our ideas, combined them and here is the result. End of note***
Effect The performer asks the participant if they have a shopping receipt upon their persons in which he proposes to play a game. The participant pulls out a receipt and the performer asks the participant to quickly call out the items off of the list whilst the performer makes note of them. The performer then makes a prediction and slides it across the table. The participant is asked to choose an item off of the list. The performer then asks them to turn over the prediction and it is shown to match. The performer plays several other games of this nature and then finishes by asking the participant to remove their bank card and look at the last four digits – Ensuring that it is hidden at all times. The performer states that this number is going to serve as a pin code in proving that with a little bit of thought after learning how to read someone it is completely possible to pick up on a pin code. The performer is able to correctly deduce the four digits! The performer never touches the receipt, the bank card or any other artefact of the participants.
Breakdown This routine is pure simple, the best outcome is that you will guess the four digits the worst outcome is that you will never even propose to. The secret lies in the receipt – When people pay for their groceries and use a bank card, at the bottom of the receipt (near the price) you will see a series of stars and then four digits **** **** **** 0987 – Looking exactly like this. These are the last four digits of the participant’s bank card.
The dodge to getting the peek is as thus, you ask the participant to remove a receipt from a recent grocery shop that they have done (if they have one) if they have not then it doesn’t matter, simply move into another routine. This will also work with a petrol/ fuel receipt. This works better if there are a few items on the grocery list. You will tend to find that fuel receipts tend to have less items on but can still be used perfectly with this dodge. If it is a fuel receipt ask them to remove it and ask them if there are any other items on there that they purchased. Simply lean in and say “Let me take a look”. Casually glance at the items but quickly locate the participant’s bank numbers that is what we are looking for. If you see it remember it, if you do not our response is still going to be the same. Performer: “There isn’t enough items, do not worry. Put the receipt away and imagine you walked into a garage. Start to call out a few items, the more the better”. Let them call out ten or so items and then move into the routine that follows. This is going to be the same with the grocery list if it has only a few items on there. If you notice that the receipt is long, simply ask them to choose items from a variety of places on the receipt apply the same peek whilst writing the list as the participant is holding the receipt. Once there are ten or more items you have written on your piece of card, you are going to move into writing one of those items from that list onto a separate piece of card and predicting which item the participant is going to choose. If the receipt does not contain the four digits it doesn’t matter (as mentioned earlier), you are still going to perform this effect. That is what makes this effect interesting as there is an out that is open right from the off meaning that the last four digits are a bonus that you can utilise in your act later.
Forcing the item on the list This is completely inspired by David Berglas. We are going to mix two very traditional techniques to create a seemingly fair outcome. We are going to utilise the patio force and then move into equivoque. This is how we would handle it. First lay the list on the table and say to the participant, Performer: “I am going to tell you this right out of the gate this will be by process of elimination. I will name two random items and you will cross one off and then you will name two items and I will cross one off until we get down to about two or three items”.
This is where you name two of the objects DO NOT NAME WHATEVER IT IS YOU ARE TRYING TO FORCE. The participant will then choose one to cross off. Ask them to name two objects, if they coincidentally choose the items that you are trying to force as one of their items simply choose the other item and cross that off. Read this a couple of times – Repeat this process until you get down to two objects. This is where we will move into equivoque to decide upon the last item. Performer: “We are finally down to two, you are going to get to make the last choice. Point to one of them”. In equivoque you should normally never use the word choice but in this context I think it fits quite nicely. If they point to the opposite item to the one you are trying to force, simply take a pen and cross it off of the list. If they choose the item you want to force simply say “Are you sure that is the one you want?” they will say yes, cross of the item that you are not trying to force and the routine is ready to move into the revelation. You have successfully forced an item and the reactions from this are great. Perform a couple more routines and then finish by revealing the last four digits on the participant’s bank card. I think you can see why this is such a valuable type routine to have in your arsenal, it is an anyplace, anytime type of routine that is safe and fun as it seems like a game to your participant. Another thing that I have always done, as far back as the “Devil in disguise” is to frame any four digits number that means nothing as a pin code. Simply say to the participant – I am going to refer to this number as your pin code, it is four random digits on a random bank card in a random location, I think this is as fair as a pin code. Whenever I say think of your pin code, I want you to beam these four digits into your mind. The reason that I do this, is that if anyone wanders in half way through the routine and I am saying focus on the first digit in your pin code, they will always retell the story as though I genuinely guessed the participants pin code. This is especially true if I say cheekily at the end (after acting surprised that I got it) – those numbers are definitely for the card in your pocket right? They will have to say yes and thus the routine comes full circle.
EGO AND CONFIDENCE – Ben Cardall When looking at deductive work or observational prowess, or inductive or Abductive theory you need to be able to get your head right to be able to do it successfully and with ease. When beginning to look at the world in this way it is difficult because you are so used to seeing through your own personal models of what everything is when in reality the best way to deduce information is simply through the information itself. That is why it has the image of being cold and scientific, because it deals only with what is presented in front of the eyes of the Deductionist and nothing more. First of all, I am no expert. I am a Sherlockian by heart and by nature who has spent the better part of his life exploring the reality of these skills and how to learn them. I use deduction as part of my work as a mentalist. I utilize these skills to show my audiences that I can know more about them than I really should. So, how then do you begin? We all must start somewhere so where is the best place? Could you announce the number of stairs you have in your house right now, irrespective of how many times you have used them? Probably not, well that is all about to change. We begin with two exercises that will begin to clear the emotions from your head and open your observations. We all have emotions and form our opinions on things that we like and we don't like based on these opinions and our thoughts and feelings on the topics at hand. This is part of the reason Mr. Holmes informs us that our emotions can be antagonistic to clear reasoning. These emotions can colour our opinions of anything that we need to deduce about and stop us from getting at the truth of the matter. They make us fall foul of things like confirmation bias and versions of inattentional blindness. Let us say, for example, that you had a particularly bad run in with a tall bearded fellow, who is covered in tattoos He was in a rock bar, showed typical signs of angry personality i.e. not willing to listen to reason, only interested in talking with their fists, the worst kind of narrow minded person you could ever hope to meet. The worse this run in was, then invariably the worse your opinions on this ilk would be.
(You see this man, mercilessly looking down at something on the floor? What could it be? A gun? His victim?)
Continuing on down this hypothetical rabbit hole, you then come to aid the local police force in their murder investigation. The person who stands trial is exactly this type of person to look at, tall, hairy and covered in tattoos. You have to examine the evidence to help him clear his name as he is protesting his innocence. Your emotions at this point would then entangle you to such a degree that you wouldn’t be able to read their body language and emotions properly; you wouldn’t be able to read the evidence and the crime scene properly. Your emotions would feed the confirmation bias and only look for things that support your original theory of how all of these people are. Your inattentional blindness would be fed in the sense that you would not see evidence that aids what you were hired for in the first place. This is how they become antagonistic to clear reasoning.
(Nope, he’s hugging his son. There was even a bit of his son’s hand on the other photo)
Unless you learn to quiet that emotional voice in your head, which informs you of your opinions and models of everything in the world, you will truly miss a lot of relevant data. If not all of it at times. This will prevent you from obtaining a high degree of accuracy in your deductions. Unless you quiet that voice all people who dress in black and have tattoos will be heavy metal fans; all women who wear revealing clothing will be trampy, all builders will be inarticulate and unintelligible and so on. You don’t want to see the world in your models of it when you are reading everything as a Deductionist. Let the truth of what is there speak for itself. This doesn’t mean that you have to be a cold-hearted person who has no feelings whatsoever. It just means that you have learnt how and when to quiet that voice in your head. Before this becomes something strictly about what other people have said I will mention the infamous Bruce Lee and one very poignant statement he made. His was regarding the art of combat but we can take the same meaning here:
‘It is like a finger pointing away to the moon, don’t concentrate on the finger
or you will miss all that heavenly glory.’ Simply put, if you concentrate on your own models of what is around you then you will miss all the heavenly glory of the truth in what you see in the people in front of you. This will begin a very powerful development of being able to quiet your mind to do the work that is needed of a Deductionist. Now then, to open your observations I would like you to begin practicing this game. Start with one room of your house, preferably one that you and others frequent a lot. If you live on your own then use a room at your place of work or even a corner of a restaurant if you are currently unemployed. You are then going to take a mental picture of the scene and take in as much detail of it as you can. You can spend as long on this or as little as you’d like. Now then, when you leave, the other people who will use this room will come in and mess up the scene you have stored in your head for use at a later date. When you arrive back at this place, which should be later that same day (if you leave it any longer, too much will have happened for you be able to backtrack all of it) you then compare what you see in front of you to what you have memorised and then begin to deduce the details. You see a cup on the living room table that wasn’t in the room before but has moved and has been filled with something else. Why? A TV magazine by the sofa. Why? A freshly made bum print on the chair. Whose is it and why? All of these questions you will be able to answer as you know the people who frequent the room so you can extrapolate the details based on this. You know everyone has their favourite cup they like to drink out of, so you know who has had what, but why was it moved? What is it now in front of? The TV magazine, poses new questions and the bum print also. This scenery points to the idea of a live- in partner with poor eyesight who attempted to record their favourite shows and then took a load off after a hard day doing whatever they were doing. The more detail you can observe in a room then the more detail you can reason backwards from.
"In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the every-day affairs of life it is more useful to reason forwards and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically...Let me see if I can make it clearer. Most people, if you describe a train of events to them, will tell you what the result would be. They can put those events together in their minds, and argue from them that something will come to pass. There are few people, however, who, if you told them a result, would be able to evolve from their own inner consciousness what the steps were which led up to that result. This power is what I mean when I talk of reasoning backwards, or analytically." Sherlock Holmes - A Study in Scarlet 1887 The more often you perform this task the more your brain will become accustomed to taking in all kinds of information in this fashion and then
allowing you to be able to draw on it. Your ability to observe and then store the details will grow and grow. Until you will be able to come home from work one day and not have to ask how their day was, you will know by the evidence that is presented for you. It is all out there. You just have to observe it and then reason from what you see. You will get to the stage when you can up the game to the next level, which is when you will need the help and aid of someone else. Choose a room that you are in and take a mental picture of it as you did with the exercise listed before. Your imaginative capacities are needed greatly with this exercise and not in the sense of creating things in your head but to really picture something that you have seen clearly will rely heavily on your imagination. After you are confident that you have stored everything in your mind correctly, you will leave the room and the remaining person will change only one thing about the room whilst you are out. Upon your return it will be up to you to figure out what that one thing is. It can be anything. From an ornament that has moved to swapping two books around on a bookshelf. It just depends on how hard you want to play and much you want to develop your observational skill. Once you get to a point where you have experienced success with this, you then add a room and begin again. Keep going with this until you are doing this with your whole house. This will help you to be able to take in large amounts of information at once whilst being able to hone in on the details, as ‘the little things are often the most important’. For example if you were to walk up to me you would be able to know what one of my favourite pastimes is and, best of all, you would have a very close idea as to the name of my partner. All this from careful observation and well placed reasoning. So if I’ve said nothing more that you’ve cared about it, I would be happy that you only go away with this note. Emotions are antagonistic to clear reasoning. If you let your own ego get in the way of your thinking, which is a distinct possibility in our community, it will slow down, immeasurably your ability to process what you see. So as much as you can take your own inner monologue out of the equation.
OBSERVATION Through merely paying attention at the right time. I have spotted when people scratch their arm and lift up their sleeve or back of the neck, or whatever you will occasionally spot a tattoo of a name. To use an example I spotted a tattoo on the back of a man’s neck that was only revealed as he scratched an itch, the tattoo was of the name ‘Becca’. It stands to reason that this would be the name of his wife/girlfriend, as for children tattoo’s usually appear in full names and they are on the arms of men or the small of the back or in small writing on the inside of the wrists of women. Now you wouldn’t just go straight into a routine that has to do with this name, as that would call direct attention to the tattoo on his neck. Allow for passage of time, which will allow him to forget the movement he just made, which means there will be no heat on the name on his neck.
So, I memorised the name and who it
belonged to and came back to him a few hours later. Basically I asked him to think of the name of someone close to him someone that means a lot to him, your girlfriend for example (he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring). He did and it was his girlfriend. It’s as close as possible to real mentalism and all that was, was paying attention, memorising what I saw, and then understanding how to correctly reveal it. In the midst of performing in a bar situation a lady I was stood near to opened up her wallet to pay for her drinks. I noticed that she had the usual bank cards and stuff, but as well as that she had membership cards to 2 casinos’ and a video shop. It was possible to see the whole of video membership card so I memorised the last 3 numbers and carried on with my act. So in my head I’m thinking how do I force the video shop card, I tried this. I asked the lady if she was a member of any organisations, clubs or casino’s, she said yes and I said ok think of one of them if you are a member of a casino though don’t now please think of that as I’m not trying to influence you, I wish to really challenge myself. Because she saw that I wanted a challenge that was enough for her to be ok with not thinking about casinos’. I then went onto reveal the video shop and the last 3 numbers of her membership number. A young gentleman I met played lead guitar for a punk rock band for a number of years, this I surmised through asking no questions save asking him to pick a card. His left fingertips had calluses on and those fingers were slightly thinner than those on his right hand. This suggested lead guitar as his fingers would be thinner due to all the acrobatics they would have to do up and down the fret board. This gave way to my opinion on how long he had been playing also. Playing lead guitar (this is just an opinion of the cross-section of guitarists I have spoken to) for a couple of months, the fingers would be relatively similar in width as they haven’t had chance to get used to it. The style of music was merely suggested by his style of clothes and how he carried himself as he moved; head slightly slumped into his shoulders. Hair cascading over the face. It was either going to be punk rock or grunge. Yes the framework of his hands could have been confused with that of a bass player too but his character was far too extroverted for guitarist that stereotypically stands at the back of a jamming session. These opportunities don’t present themselves all the time but because I was just observant and took the chance when it presented itself. It’s ridiculously simple yet insanely powerful. The main pitfall of presenting these things is knowing when and how to present them. The biggest tip on that is to allow for as much time to pass from the situation/whatever you have observed. There will be no physical memory then, so no heat will be on you, which ramps up the power tenfold!!!
- Ben Cardall
Conclusion That brings us to a close for this month’s series, I know we didn’t strictly stick to the definition BUT these type of routine will play out perfectly if you decided to frame your character as a deductionist. With the techniques shared within this book, you could quite easily decide that you wanted to plat that type of character. I am hoping in the future to visit this subject in a little more depth. For the people reading this section of this volume, hats off to you I have found that people tend to skip these sections and there is always a wealth of information shared within them. I promise that in the next volume I will share a routine in the introduction or the conclusion that will be my ‘pick’ of the next volume as a thanks to all of those that take the time to read these sections. The routine will be my favourite out of all of the volume and most I am willing to bet won’t even have the pleasure of reading it – It will be hidden in plain sight! Thank you for taking the time to read this volume and I really hope you enjoyed the content. Until next time my friends,