"The Rorschach inkblot test is a psychological projective test of personality in which a subject's interpretations of ten standard abstract designs are analysed as a measure of emotional and intellectual functioning and integration. The test is named after Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) who developed the inkblots, although he did not use them for personality analysis.
The test is considered "projective" because the patient is supposed to project his or her real personality into the inkblot via the interpretation. The inkblots are purportedly ambiguous, structure less entities which are to be given a clear structure by the interpreter.
Those who believe in the efficacy of such tests think that they are a way of getting into the deepest recesses of the patient's psyche or subconscious mind. Those who give such tests believe themselves to be experts at interpreting their patients' interpretations.
Now I'm not claiming to be an expert in reading your every thought but I figured that this Ink Blot Test could prove for an interesting experiment.
This is simply an introduction to both the effect and the props. Despite the popularity of the Ink Blot Test there is a high chance that some of your spectators will not have any knowledge of them or what they do. It is worth taking a moment or two to fill them in on what they do and do not do.
"Now we are going to try something interesting. I would like you to relax and help me out. Your job is simple. You just go for what you feel is right. Don't worry about what other people are saying or what I am saying you simply follow what you think or feel. OK?"
This is a small but important sequence. It is loaded with hidden commands that despite not being essential to the method are always worth including. They could just be the factor that helps pull the effect off successfully. I included such statements in close to all my effects regardless of the method. I feel they are always worth the effort. As covered already the words in bold are said with either a harder or lighter tone depending on which is more successful for your own performances.
"I would like to simply reach foreword and lower your hand onto one of the cards you feel is right for you."
The only important thing to remember here is to not over stress the gestures or the wording. there are so many factors working for you here that the force is almost a sure thing.
"Ok so you have an image or shape in your mind that at the moment is nothing more than a massive shape filled with black ink. Now I would like you to take a few seconds to start to fill in the details of your image. Take as long as you need."
Here you are presenting one thing to the audience when something else is being presented to the spectator.
"Ok your done. I would like you to relax, in fact sit back in your chair and slowly allow your eyes to close."
Here if you already perform any apparently instant hypnotic trance states this could be a good use of them here. It would appear as if you had hypnotised the spectator in order to read her mind. Personally I simply ask them to relax and lean back in their chair.
"Now I would like you to grip my left wrist gently. Please don't make any movement, just hold it gently and really imagine your image in the clearest and boldest way you can"
Obviously the spectator holding your wrist adds nothing tot he method. It does however in my mind add so much tot he over all impact. It serves several purposes. Those spectators whom do not wish to believe in the power of Psychics can imagine you are sing some form of muscle reading or another psychological approach. Allowing the spectator to come to their own decision that you were in fact employing psychology is in my mind much more impressive than ramming the idea down there throat. If they feel they have "discovered your secret" they will feel good about themselves, then actually start to think how by simply holding your hand, you were able to be so accurate. This is where the impact lies for those people. They come to realise that what your doing is impossible and they have no idea how it is being done. They have now totally bought into your performance, in the same way as those who willingly believe in the power of mind reading do.
It also provides a visual element to the mind reading. I close my eyes and start dashing my hand around still being gripped by the spectator, on the pad, forming my image on the paper. I remain silent whilst doing this. It does however provide a process in which the mind reading appears to have taken place. To my mind this is where the entertainment level lies within Mentalism.
People are interested to see what it would look like for someone to read someone's mind. If no process is given within your presentation you are running the danger of simply missing out what they cam to see.
"I would like you to begin to describe what you had in mind for me. Please do this with your eyes still closed."
I have chosen to have the spectator describe the image for a few reasons. I feel it adds an element of suspense to the revelation. I hold my drawing in full view. The spectator then begins to describe their image and piece by piece it matches your drawing. It also appears as if there is no way the spectator could be in any kind of stooged situation as they can not see what you have drawn. I also like having the spectators reaction when she opens her eyes. It brings effect have to a rounded finish. The spectator will open her eyes and a pleasantly surprised look will appear. I then offer the drawing tot he spectator which they more often than not take.
"Thank you very much for your help, you were great"
This finishes everything. Here I often go on to offer and few simple cold reading lines apparently interpreting what the drawing says about her personality. This, however I will leave to the reader.
Alternative Presentations: There of course is nothing set ins tone with the presentation of the effect. I will offer a few ideas that may get you thinking;
You could present something on a larger scale for stage work in which you can line three or four spectators up and have them each imagine and image. They then mix there Ink Blot cards up. You can then go on to describe the image and return the correct Ink Blot Cards to each person. This is clearly a mixture of the effect within this manuscript and the classic
You could have another spectator read the mind of the spectator imagining the image. A dry marker and a pad with the image pre drawn in a scribble like fashion could be used. Jay Sankey has a design duplication method within Sankey Pankey that could be used in conjunction with this effect to produce that very effect. Final Comments:
Despite the method reading very long the effect its self moves along at a good pace. There is of course no reason why you could not make up the ink blot cards from your business cards and leave a business card with the people you perform for. The script is written to included much of the "wonder Wording" we all know and love from Kenton's fabulous Wonder Words Volumes.
Don't be afraid of the simple method. With a good strong performance it appears utterly compelling.
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