by Guy Bavli
While in Finland, I had the chance to spend some time with Guy Bavli, Israeli mentalist/magician/metal-bender. He is a very strong performer who gives a great deal of thought to the magic he performs. His lecture in Finland was very well received, and Guy spent a lot of time showing how to bend spoons and forks. This information is gathered in a set of notes titled, The Art of Metal Bending. The notes detail several different methods and presentations for bending, breaking, and melting spoons, and a very strong routine (based on a Steve Shaw trick) for bending and breaking the tine of a fork. For three days I watched Guy fry people with this stuff. You can, too.
"The Perfect Net Bag" is a see-through change bag which allows you to do an extremely clean force. For example, you can have a spectator tear out a page of a newspaper. He then tears the sheet of paper into small pieces. These pieces are dropped into the bag (which, incidentally, is absolutely empty). The mentalist shakes the pieces around in the bag, and the spectator pulls out one piece. This piece is forced, and the information can be revealed as a prediction or a straight-ahead mind reading.
This is a very nice prop, and when I saw Guy use it in his lecture, he fooled me. I had no idea how the force pieces were loaded. The bag does everything for you, there is no sleight-of-hand. The bag looks like a standard change bag (that is, there's a straight handle attached to a circular piece of metal to which the bag is attached), but the bag itself is made of fine mesh netting, and you can see through it. And yes, I would agree that it doesn't resemble anything you'd ever see in real life, but the netting makes it seem to be a prop of convenience rather than necessity. The bag is completely empty at the beginning, and the spectator drops in the torn newspaper pieces. The bag does all the rest. There are several other possible routines which Guy includes with the bag. This isn't cheap, but it's a very well made prop, and should give you years of use. Recommended.
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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.