The White Room 4.0
the white room ran pink...
The White Room
By Ran Pink
The White Room by Ran Pink ©2010 All rights reserved. No Portion of this book can be reproduced in any manner without written permission of the copyright owner. Television rights for using White Room are withheld and may obtained only through written permission from Ran Pink.
Note to Mentalist!!! Try this before you skim the rest of the document....Follow closely (minus closing your eyes). I'm going to try to read your mind from another dimension. "I would like to attempt something very difficult. It may not work. This is also probably the first time you'll have done something like this. So just go along with me, relax and use your first instincts. A lot depends on your imagination and concentration abilities. I promise I'll make it fun. I've got a good feeling about this." "First please close your eyes so everything goes dark. Now keep your eyes closed but just imagine that you open your eyes and now you are somewhere else. You are in a large, bright, empty white room and you are sitting in the middle of the room holding a little box on your lap. The walls are breathing and pulsing as though they are alive. Hold this image in your mind". "It's ok to open your eyes now as long as you can remember the picture in your mind so you can go back there when I ask you to. Let's play a game where you make all the choices in your mind. Are you ready?" "The walls in the room are about to change color. There are two colors we are going to concern ourselves with at the moment, red and black. Please don't change your mind as soon as the color has crossed your mind. I want you to make a silent choice and only focus on either red or black. Now imagine the walls slowly turning into that color. Remember, these choices exist only in your imagination." "If the room is now the color red, I want you to think of a number between 1‐5" "If the room is black, I want you to think of a number between 6‐10" "Now, lets have some fun. We all enjoy playing card games. I want you to imagine that the box you are holding in your lap in this room is a box of playing cards. We are going to create an imaginary playing card in your mind. Please focus once again on the color and the number you are holding in your mind." "If you are thinking of an odd number I want you to think Spades or Hearts, based
on the color of your room. So if your room is red think Hearts. And if the room is black, think Spades, again only if you are thinking of an odd number" "If you are thinking of an even number I want you to decide on Clubs or Diamonds, again depending on the color your room. So if your room is red, think Diamonds. And if the room is black, think Clubs." "Now you have made a series of choices only you could know. You have arrived at an imaginary card that exists only in your mind" "I want you to close your eyes again and imagine that you open the box of playing cards and you look at the cards but they are all the same card. It's your card. All the cards fly out of your hands and stick to the walls and now what used to be a white room has now gone dark, like in a theater, and now images of your card are being projected all over the walls. Focus on these images. Try to make them as strong and as clear as possible. I am going to imagine walking into that room and I'm going to try to describe what I see on the walls of your mind." Now if I had to guess from in front of my laptop, from the past, would you forgive me if I get confused and see a few different cards? After all, a bunch of you menatlist’s are reading this at the same time and there are 52 cards in a deck. My first instinct tells me it's the 7 of spades but my instincts are not 100%, but then a 3 of hearts just popped into my mind. Who was that? Ok now a couple people here are thinking of the 4 of diamonds and the 8 of clubs. That's all I'm getting.... Hold on I'm also getting a 9 of spades. That's it. Wait. No. Never mind. If I missed your card you probably didn't focus hard enough... on your 2 of diamonds, I'm seeing a very faint picture. What can I say it happens. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
This presentation was written so that it might be magical for you, the reader. Obviously, I didn't want you to close your eyes while reading it. I just wanted to include some of the subtleties that will work to give you an advantage. The forcing procedure is there, you can adjust as you please. I hope I was right about your card. If I'm wrong then start over and try again. If you've just skimmed to this section, you might want to go back and give it a try to see if it works on you. The only cards you could have thought of are 2D, 3H, 4D, 7S, 8C, 9S, that’s only 6 cards. It can be done over the telephone using various pumping techniques explained later. 6 cards are so easy to index and so much more. The most common choices are 3H, 7S, 4D, then 8C. To understand why these are the most common choices, I suggest studying Banachek’s Psychological Subtleties series. Here is the simple chart:
If Odd then Hearts or Spades and If Even then Diamonds or Clubs Depending on the color of the room.
1,5,6,10 are cancelled out by asking for numbers BETWEEN 1‐5, 6‐10 If you include these options then the cards are AH‐5H‐ 6C‐10C.
The Instruction Beat Watching somebody get a refresher Poker lesson from a friend inspired this idea. The cards were dealt for a sample game and the teacher said something along the lines of, "You want to make sure you have a decent hand to start.; A high pair for example". The student looked up immediately when he heard pair and said, "What did you say about pairs?" We all knew he was holding at least a pair, probably a high one. It didn't matter this was only a lesson. But it reminded me that when someone is learning a new game they tend to focus on rules that pertain to their situation. So if I you ask someone to think of Red or Black. The next instruction is, "If you are thinking of Red I want you to think of a number between 1‐5." Wait a beat. They will either start thinking of a number or they will be awaiting instructions because they are thinking black. It's subtle but you can tell the difference. Look for their eyes to shift momentarily as they are visualizing numbers. Sometimes it will be more obvious than other times, but since it's not required that you gain this information for the effect to end well, you don't have to worry and you can just observe, examine the results after the effect, and make a mental note of the cues you noticed during the procedure. Since the pumping is built into card selection process, you have the chance to be quite ahead of the game. It is very important that you take your time while going through the procedure, making sure that they are following along and that they understand the process. A Bold Addition of Visual Cues Tell them that you will turn away so they can imagine privately. Have them close their eyes when they are deciding on the color choice and keep their eyes closed until you tell them to open. "If you are thinking of red, I want you to, open your eyes, and think of a number between 1‐5" "If you are thinking of black I want you to, open your eyes and think of a number
between 6‐10" The trick is to stand parallel, with your head looking away from the participant and pretend you are not looking or paying to them at all. You will notice that if they are thinking of red, they will open their eyes. They may shut them again once you've continued with the instruction but that's because they are trying to fool you. It's important that they see you turned away from them before they close their eyes. They must be sold that you are not looking at them or it becomes too obvious. I said it was bold. Fishing Techniques You must be a good fisherman, but you only have 6 cards to fish for and hopefully you've picked up clues during the forcing procedure. The goal should be to make statements that always feel like a hit. Note: If you are not thrilled about using pumping techniques or you find it difficult to fish convincingly, then you might want to skip to ICAINU on page 12 which involves none of the above. If you can't tell if they chose red or black you are still going strong. As a matter of fact, the reveal will feel just as direct. It is explained in the section called: If you can't tell if they chose red or black you are still going strong. The next two sections deal with the situation where you feel confident that you know the color. Your abilities will improve over time and will give you a very direct path to revealing their card. The Direct Hit Approach One approach is to simply go for a direct hit. Lets say you know the color because of the "instruction beat", so you only have 3 cards to fish for. I like an approach that Derren Brown uses in his effect “Smoke” from his book Pure Effect. Use the middle card of the set first. So if you feel confident that they are thinking of a red card, you want to check first if they are thinking of the 3 of hearts. Have the spectator imagine their card and instruct, "Please focus on your card and repeat it over and over in your head, 3 of hearts, 3 of hearts, 3 of hearts." Pause for a second to see if the participant reacts. If they are thinking of the 3 of hearts there
will be a reaction. If not continue with " or whatever card you are thinking of." Lets say there was no reaction so you know it’s either the 2 or 4 of diamonds. This is the perfect moment to use T.A. Waters technique from his effect “Trionic” from Mind Myth and Magic. You claim that you see 4 pips or drawings on the card. If there is a positive response or reaction then it's the 4 of diamonds. If there is a negative response then you immediately declare the card to be the 2 of diamonds. I have an alternate, similar ruse that involves the diamond suit for this particular set. It is explained later. You should be correct. But what if you are still wrong? Well, so far you've only made one guess. They are either thinking of a black card or they didn't quite hear the instructions and chose 1,5,6 or 10. Most likely they are thinking of a black card. The most common anomalies are 5 and 6. Based on the procedure the 5 is a hearts and 6 is a clubs. So you've eliminated 2,3,4, but you were sure they chose red. After you incorrectly guess the 2 of diamonds you could exclaim "but it is a red card." If they agree, then you know it's the 5 of hearts. If you are wrong about the color then try to reset the situation by telling them they need to focus harder, take a deep breath, and close their eyes when they concentrate. Start the direct hit procedure over but this time with the black cards. This is of course the worst‐case scenario, which is the risk you take by going with this approach. However, if you name their card, without asking any questions then that's quite a feat. More Fishing Options Again If you already know the color because of the "Instruction Beat", then you only need to find out which one amongst 3 of the same color cards. Here is another option that works as well. If I knew it was Red for example. I would start with "I'm seeing something even?" If they say, ”Yes", now you declare that you see 4 points in the design. If they immediately respond as soon as you say 4, you know it’s the 4 of Diamonds. If it takes her a second to think about it or acts unsure, then they are thinking of the 2. You clarify that you are seeing 4 corners of a Diamond suit and then reveal her
card as the 2 of Diamonds. If they say, "No, you continue with "Yeah, I see a shape with 2 bumps, but now it makes sense to me. I'm seeing 2 bumps of the top of a heart shape, and you are thinking of a 3 of hearts." Same goes if they are thinking of black except now you start with, "I'm seeing something odd". Then you use the same excuse for the 8 of clubs as you did for the hearts. Explaining that you saw an odd shape, but it was the 3 bumps of a Club card and they are thinking of the 8 of clubs. To decipher if it's the 7 or the 9, you could use T.A. Waters pip ruse or you can try something explained in the next section. If you can't tell if they chose red or black you are still going strong: This is perhaps the best way to start practicing the White Room. You don't need to worry about getting any visual cues. This is how you would perform White Room over the phone. I prefer to start with a direct statement, "I'm sensing something odd". If you get a positive reaction from an "open book" participant, one can assume they are thinking of an odd number. If you don't get any reaction, continue with the classic fishing ploy, "You're not thinking of an odd number, are you?" If they say no, then continue with, "I didn't think so. It's just odd to me that I'm seeing the image you are sending me reversed and upside down. Can you try and reverse and flip the image over in your mind? Perhaps that will calibrate us." Once you know this piece of information you narrow the cards down to 3 from different color sets. If she said no, then you know its 2D,4D, or 8C. I would use the Derren Brown idea here and tell them, "Please repeat the card in your mind, 8 of clubs, 8 of clubs, 8 of clubs, or whatever card you are thinking of." You will know if they are thinking of the 8 of clubs. Now ask them to visualize their card as they repeat it's name and that you will try to describe what you see. You declare that you see 4 points in the design. If she immediately responds as soon as you say 4, you know it’s the 4 of Diamonds. If she thinks about it for a second and then agrees she is thinking of the 2, because probably connected the 4 points to the suit of diamonds, which has four corners. It's more likely she'll say no.
Either way you explain that you see four points of the suit of diamonds at that their card is the 2 of diamonds. If she is thinking of an odd card, your response is "Yeah, but it's just strange that I'm seeing the image you are sending me reversed and upside down. Can you try and reverse and flip the image over in your mind? Perhaps that will calibrate us." Now you can use the Derren Brown gambit of repeating the 3 of hearts in their minds again. Or you can try another pumping combination that works with this set. Continuing with the "upside down" idea, immediately say, "OK. I'm seeing what looks like a spade..but, I think it's still upside down?" If there's an immediate reaction to spades, you know its between the 7 and the 9 and you can say, "Please try to send me the images right side up, thank you. This is difficult enough as it is". If there is no response to the spades, then it's the 3 and you continue with, "I'm sorry...Upside down, it actually kind of looks like a heart. The 3 of hearts." This upside down spades thing was inspired by Rick Roth. Thanks Rick. If it is between the 7 and the 9, you could use the T.A. Waters pip ploy as described earlier. Or another option would be to state, "I see what looks like a 7 but the picture seems incomplete. Does that make sense?" Again if there's an instant reaction to the 7, then you know it’s the 7 of spades. "It's incomplete because you forgot to imagine the spades in the corners". If they respond with a negative, you immediately continue saying, "and I'm starting to see what looks like a circle on top, which looks more like a 9. I'm getting 9 of Spades. Is that correct?" Anomalies If it fits your style, leave yourself the ultimate out by adding, "This may not work. Its very difficult and it heavily relies on your imagination and focus abilities. Are you with me?", before you begin the effect. This puts the participant on your side and they are likely to follow your instructions better. And if you fail to name the correct card, you mentioned how difficult it would be.
If you have a real Poker faced person who will not confirm that easily. I would go for direct hits amongst the most common choices. I’ve found these types go for the 8 of clubs based on the procedure. If I'm wrong I apologize and state something like "I was completely thrown off because this morning I found a playing card on the sidewalk, I put it in my wallet thinking it may bring me luck. But it hasn't brought me luck. If it did I would have been able to read your mind. What was your card? No kidding.(Pull it out of your wallet) I guess it is my lucky card." There is always a chance that the participant will think of a card that's not in the set. Perhaps they included cards A‐5‐6‐10 as their options. I've found that this happens when someone has chosen his or her lucky number. This isn’t a problem for some of the effects described. But it will throw you off, if you are going for a direct, “mind to mind”, revelation. If you ultimately miss because they thought of a card outside the main set, then you can say, "You thought of a lucky number didn't you? I think that's what's throwing me off." If they agree, you'll get credit for knowing that. By this point you should have enough clues to give it one more shot. If you're wrong, you can thank them for trying this experiment with you and move on. It is known that being off sometimes adds believability to what we do. Final Fishing Tips Odds are that most of the time Red is chosen. 3 should be the most common named or thought of number between 1‐5, and 4 is next in line. Certain types of people lean towards black, 7 then 8 being the most popular options. The cards in order of probability of being chosen ‐ 3H‐7S‐4D‐8C. The natural choice of red, sometimes gets rejected simply because they only catch your directions after you've mentioned that if they are thinking of red they should think of a number between 1‐5. Just pay attention to the participant's attention level at all times. Notice in the original script, that just before I have them make the color choice, I ask them if they are ready. The “ee” sound of the “y“should be slightly under enunciated, so it almost sounds like red. There are probably many ways to try to subtly influence the participant to choose one color over the other. In the script the participant experiences darkness‐Black and a White Room‐White.
So when the option of red comes along, I' d expect it to be tempting. These built in fishing/pumping techniques are useful for a direct mind reading where you are receiving thoughts and images and then revealing the card merely thought of. But now lets discuss the fish free, hands of ICAINU. ICAINU : Imagined Card at Imagined Number unspoken This is based on Any Card at Any Number but the mentalist never knows the card and the number until the card is found. It is completely hands off. Everything happens in the participant’s mind and you never touch the cards. The White Room is turned into a Thought Card at Thought of number with a regular deck in the spectator hands the whole time. The story changes so that the participant imagines opening the card box and putting their card at a number they think of between 1‐52.... But they would come up with a number by taking their thought of card and multiplying it by the number of letters in their name. Say her name is Jenny. She would multiply her card number by 5. The reasoning being, that by multiplying by the amount of letters in her name has a personal connection and it will place the card deeper into the deck. Also the position of the card will be based on choices that the participant has made earlier. Note: This math happens in the participant's mind. The results are never revealed to you. I know this might seem disappointing. Some of you might cringe that the method involves multiplication in the procedure. You must try this on a layperson and see what kind of reaction you get. I've also figured a way to tie the math in with something personal from the participant. You could choose to multiply each card 2,3,4, by whatever number you want from 1‐5. It must be 5 and under to make sense. Place those cards at those positions in the deck. If you know the name of the participant is 5 letters or less you could have them multiply their thought of card/number by the number of letters in their name. The deck is easily setup in front of the participant, false shuffled and then handed over to the participant before the start of the effect. So if you chose to use 5, then setup the deck so positions 10‐15‐20‐35‐40‐45 are occupied by the magic 6 cards. No special deck needed! If I meet someone named Jackson. I couldn't use his name so I would use 5 as a standard setup I would justify the use of number 5 by explaining, during the
imagination/dream moments, "If you have a difficult time maintaining the image of the white room, it is known by lucid dreamers that it helps to imagine looking at your hand as a focal point to maintain the waking dream." Then you tie it in by asking them to multiply their thought of number by 5 because we have 5 fingers on our hand. To be extra safe, there's always those people who don't hear in between 1‐5, between 6‐10, just put cards A‐5‐6‐10 in the correct positions in the deck as well. Remember, based on the forcing procedure, the extra cards you'd need to setup are the AH‐5H‐6C‐10C and at multiples of 5, they would be placed at 5‐25‐30‐50 respectively. You can setup the deck in front of a participant and do so under the guise of pretending to begin a different effect and then changing your mind. Do your best false shuffle, box the deck and hand it to the participant. Another easy way to setup the deck is to find the force set, get them in order on top of the deck. Lets say our multiplier is 5 and we have all ten cards to setup. Now begin a face up overhand shuffle and peel one card at a time until you reach 4. Next you will peel both the face card and the top card with your left fingers and then peel the next face up card and count 2 in your head. Continue with 3,4 and repeat the procedure above. Do this till you have the 10 of clubs at position 50. Box the deck and hand it over. A fancier method for setting up would be to get the force set on top of the deck and execute two faro shuffles placing the cards at multiples of 4. If the person's name is Jane, you are set. To make the cards sit at multiples of 5 just look through the cards and displace cards from the face of the deck to positions in between the force cards. You have the option to count to yourself as the participant is dealing cards and you'll know what card they were thinking of before they turn the card over for the reveal. Use this info how you like. You could perform this over the wire. You just have to send a setup deck to someone and instruct him or her not to open it until you speak on the phone or on iChat or Skype. Do the White Room procedure and then have them unseal the envelope and listen for the gasps. They can examine the cards forever and it still wont make sense. If you know more information about your victim like a birth month under 5 or some other personal tidbits that can work for the multiplication, then use this instead of the name.
David Hoy Tossed Out White Room Invite six audience members to stand up. Do the procedure. Call out the 6 cards. Have them sit down if you called out their card. There's more to this but you know where this is going and you can take it from here. This is based on David Hoy’s Tossed Out Deck. Alternate Sets and The Court Cards The set can also be flipped so that if they have thought of black they should choose a number between 1‐5. If red, then they select between 6‐10. If we maintain the previous rules for odd and even then the force set would be: 2C,3S,4C 7H,8D,9H In other words you can customize the set if you prefer certain force cards. Change the rules for odd and even and you have a whole new set. This may be useful in coming up with your own fishing procedure that you feel comfortable with. You could even change the rules around so that they think of a number from 1‐13, allowing for a broader range of choices. In this version of White Room I wanted to keep it simple, with as few outs as possible in order to create an impromptu direct mind reading effect with the minimum amount of fishing. In the case you would like to include the court cards in the set for the other card effects, then these are the suits of the royals. These are based on the original forcing procedure. JS,QC,KS Instead of red room thinks of a number between 1‐5 and black thinks of one between 6‐10. It would be red thinks between 1‐7, Black thinks between 8‐13. This changes some of the cards in the forcing set. For example the 6 is now a 6 of Diamonds and the 7 is 7 of Hearts. So here is the whole alternate set with the court cards: AH‐2D3H4D5H6D‐7H 8C‐9S10CJSQC‐KS
This means that for ICAINU, the highest number you could multiply by is 4. Four season, four suits, four Beatles; they are many good reasons to incorporate 4 into the picture. As far as fishing techniques for this expanded set, I’ll leave it up to you to find something that works for you. I’ll add one tip. You can easily find out if they are thinking of a court card. This time the good ole “I’m seeing too many details! Your not thinking of a court card, are you?” is absolutely boring but perfect. You are just trying to find out because “it’s much harder with a court card”. You’ll either say, “Great! Phew! It’s so much harder with a court card” or “Great (sarcastic) I knew it. This is so much harder with a court card. Let’s try it anyway” If it is a court card it’s actually much easier. It’s most likely JS or QC because 13 is a fringe number and is most likely not chosen. If it’s not a court card….Well, that’s as far as I’ll take you for this version. Surely by now you have enough fishing techniques in your arsenal to work this out. Otherwise use this with ICAINU. Premonition/Prizewinner/Thought Control/Crossroads The White Room procedure will also work for a “Premonition” style effect. This concept was made famous by Eddie Joseph, but invented by William H. McCaffrey and he called it “Prize Winner”. Later Fred Peterson and Burling Hull used this same idea in "Mental Television Thought Control", which was published in Sensational Mentalism Part 3, and was also marketed as a separate item before that. In addition, the more recent “Crossroads” by Ben Harris is also due credit. The White Room story is adjusted so that only their card flies out of the deck and then gets projected on the wall. You say that you are going to walk into that room in your imagination and you are going to take their card away, so the projections have gone blank and the walls are back to bright white. So there should only be 51 cards left in the deck. The spectator looks through the deck to find their card is missing. You take it out of your wallet. No fishing required. Just the magic 6 or if you want to play it safe, 10 cards have to be removed from the deck, put in your wallet, and replaced with 5 or 9 others.
My Appreciation…. So much credit is due to Ben Harris. I was fortunate to have previewed Silent Running. I had contributed some ideas to Ben just before his printing deadline. The thing is, my brain doesn't shut off. Ben inspired me and put me in the right frame of mind to come up with White Room. Ben gave me his blessing to release this idea. I think of it as a cousin to Silent Running and since the force sets are different, they make a great tag team. Also Rick Roth and I brainstorm almost daily and I'm very fortunate to have a good friend like Rick who is very supportive and full of incredible ideas. Rick is a big fan of impromptu mental effects and this one is dedicated to Rick. Thank you to Yaniv Deautsch for recommending additional excellent sources for pumping/fishing techniques and for help with credits. Go to http://worldwidemagic.com to discuss White Room. I would love to hear from you if this has inspired any ideas.