You can see that after the Jumbo Card Calling and the joke about getting up a card game, I continue my talk about gambling. You can hear the murmuring in the background when I mention how good that ability (that I just demonstrated) would be in a game of Poker. Then I start to talk about Blackjack and how mindreading would be of no help there. Notice please how I have, after the fact, basically told them I just did mindreading without ever having it said it before and in such a way that it is just accepted! I also tell the story about being banned from playing Blackjack in two casinos and mention one in Monte Carlo in an off-hand manner as though this were a place just down the street! Again, this is all very prestige building and gives the feeling I move in Bond-type environments!
As I talk about the game of Blackjack, I make it clear that reading someone's mind wouldn't help in any way (again reinforcing what I said earlier) and then explain that I seem to have this ability to win at Blackjack. Notice that I do not ex plain what the ability is, but just that I have it! This is so intriguing to a normal person. In truth, most people would much rather just have the ability to win at Blackjack without even knowing how than the ability to count cards, etc. See, that's work. Isn't it just so much nicer to just win somehow?
It is interesting to look back after many years at Mind Mysteries and try to remember exactly what I was thinking as I did certain things. I believe as I was talking, I was thinking about using the guy in the front in shorts to help me with this. He had said he often plays cards and I think I felt I owed it to him a bit since I skipped right over him earlier and chose Margaret. I still was wondering if he might be a magician and was planning just how I would handle him.
After asking him up, I position him on my left.
As a little aside here, let me explain why I repositioned people a number of times from my right to my left during these videos. Traditionally, I usually have my volunteers stand at my right. Since I am right-handed, I find it easier to do my center tear, swami effects, etc. with the person on that side and automatically position an assistant there. Because of the audience set up and the arrangement of the cameras, however, I had to reverse that positioning and have them on my left. These are the kinds of minor details you have to constantly be aware of and be willing to be flexible with.
I always keep the Jokers in my decks. This always seemed to me to make the deck appear more ordinary and, on a practical note, it keeps the cards flatter and newer looking in the case. (There are also numerous possibilities for crib sheets on the Jokers.) Now I want to cover a very important lesson. Notice how I spread the cards for him (twice!) to look over before I begin and what I say! "Look, you can see the cards are pretty well mixed up," and he says, "Yeah, they really are!" Please pay attention to the look on his face. You can see he really believes they are totally mixed. This is because of what I talked about earlier. The groupings of the duplicate values and all the rest of the randomness of the Breakthrough Card System is what does it! Subconsciously, it just radiates innocence. When I go into the false shuffle and start talking about how I am going to simulate a game of Blackjack, there is just no question of him wanting to shuffle the cards. Suspicion is also nullified by instantly placing the cards in his hands.
I am going to backtrack here for a second to show you something that is profound during this performance. I guarantee you that once I explain this, your mouth is going to fall open a bit in amazement when you understand the psychology.
When the gentleman comes up next to me, notice he is wearing shorts. Please understand that most of the audience members are local residents who dress this way in Lake Tahoe. In addition, many do not really know what kind of performance they are going to and what to expect. Some magicians might have made a comment like, "I see you dressed for the occasion!" That would be insulting and, even if said in a light manner, would play on that person's mind and the audience in general. That is one tiny step in them not liking you quite as much. Please don't do this kind of thing.
What I did do, however, was far more important and cunning! Remember how I told you I was a bit apprehensive about this person and what he might do? I want him to follow my instructions to the letter so I used a little psychological trick on him to put him just a bit off ease. As I shuffle the cards and begin to talk to him, notice how I look directly at his legs. Watch his reaction to my gaze! Did you see it? That slight shuffle he makes shows he is aware of my stare and is just a bit put off by it. He feels conspicuous at that moment with nowhere to hide! When I put the cards into his hand to have him cut them, he is relieved because the attention shifts to the cards and the effect. The heat is now off him and he is more than willing to follow my instructions to keep it that way! Do you see what that slight maneuver accomplished and isn't that so much better than insulting him?
When I turn my back to the spectator as he cuts the cards, it adds greatly to the effect. I use this strategy often as it is so strong. There is just something about the mentalist having his back to the spectator that seems to imply it is impossible to cheat. When I ask him if he is satisfied, I notice now that he actually looked at the face of the cards. If I had seen him doing that, I would have insisted he cut the cards again. But, here again, the Breakthrough Card System comes through with flying colors as a quick glimpse at the order of the cards completely satisfies him that the cards are well mixed.
As he puts the cards in his pockets, I joke a bit with the audience. I ask them if he did it. It is a small thing but, once again, implies I cannot see a thing. Then I immediately ask, "Fair?"and they all respond with a "Yes. "I talked about this in the first guide book, but I want to replay the reasoning just a bit. By getting them to admit everything is fair, they will have nowhere to go in a few minutes. Some may be expecting further actions to take place before I do whatever it is I am going to. Up to now, nothing has happened that looks suspicious in any way. So when that doesn't happen, the effect jumps into a completely different realm than ordinary card tricks! The only place trickery could seem to take place is with the rest of the deck. But that possibility is quickly eliminated when I have the gentleman put the rest of the deck into the box and when I hand it off to another person.
To drive this entirely home, I take the time to go over everything that has happened. Notice how I subtly substitute the word mix for cut when describing what he did with the deck! This same subtleness is apparent when I say that he took two cards and put them into his pockets. That is true, but they were the top two. The recap seems to imply they could have been any two! The whole point is to get them to say, "Yes, everything is fair!" and agree with the slight modifications I have made in the re-telling!
Again I reiterate that even if I could read his mind, it wouldn't help me anyway. At this point, John makes the funny comment, "It would be blank anyway!" It gets a laugh, which is fine, but I do not say a word. You can see me thinking and my decision here is to just let it play and move on with the effect. I don't want to slow things down here and put a gap between the proving process and the culmination of the effect.
I mention again that I do not know how I do this and really can't explain the process (which I talked about before) and then, without any further hesitation, I name the cards!
The camera does not show the audience at this time, but let me tell you the look on their faces was astonishment. I am sure they expected some other maneuver to take place so that, when I just name the cards, they are startled.
I also want to point out how I made sure to tell him not to take out the cards from his pockets as I named them. Many years of experience has taught me that if I don't say that here, some will take out the cards prematurely.
The cards are the 7 of Spades and the 2 of Spades. Again, the BCS provides 2 cards that just do not seem to be in any way related to each other and could not be part of some stack! I repeat the names - in order - a second time.
Finally I look him right in the eyes, pause, and say, "What cards do you want to be in what pocket?" Now let me analyze the timing and reasoning here to explain why they almost always name the right cards. I have told him not to remove the cards. Then I look at him in the eyes, but say nothing. He is wondering, "What does he want me to do?" Then, when I say, "What cards do you want to be in what pocket?" he has to be thinking, "What does he mean by that? Does he mean the two cards he just named? What were they again? The 7 of Spades and the 2 of Spades? Yes, I guess that's what he means!" After all, is it any wonder he will follow the line of least resistance and call the first card for the first pocket (the right is always the first!) and the other for the left?
As soon as he says the 7 of Spades is in his right pocket, my mood changes. It becomes serious. I say, "You say the 7 of Spades is in that pocket? Then take it out!" You can almost see the "you're kidding!" expression on his face as he reaches for it. When he comes out with the 7, the reaction of the audience has to be one of the best ones ever on any magic video! Since there is no bettering this reaction, I immediately have him take out the 2 from the other pocket and let that reaction just blend into the first!
As I thank him and lead him back to his seat I ask for a round of applause for him. I haven't mentioned this before, but this is mandatory with all your assistants. I cannot imagine any performer not doing so for anyone willing to come up on stage and help them.
Finally, to finish, notice how I retrieve the cased deck I gave out earlier. Since I never told that person to open the case and inspect them, I know they will still be all set to go. But giving them out and taking them back again just adds one more element of mystery than if I had just put them down on the table.
CHALLENGE MIND READING
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.