Mind Over Meniscus

About fifteen years ago that Billy McComb, during a visit to my home, recommended J.M. Hartz's Hydrostatic Glass trick to me. Soon after, I ordered one from Supreme Magic in England and put it into my cabaret act, using a routining based on that of my friend, Alan Shaxon. The effect registered well enough with my audiences, but I didn't care for two aspects of the trick First, I didn't like the appearance of the plastic tumbler supplied. It looked cheap, and it is my practice to use props of...

Preparation

First, you will need business cards printed on glossy, black stock. I've had mine printed with silver ink. These cards must 2Vol. 27, No. 1, Jan. Feb. 1978, pp. 27. be black on both sides, making it impossible for writing to be seen on them. You must now prepare one of these cards by attaching a second one to it in a special way A very thin border of Chap Stick lip balm3 is applied to the face of one of your black business cards, along all four edges. The treated area should be no more than a...

Spare Crange

Propose to describe here is one of my most guarded little secrets, a ploy that creates a surprising (and thoroughly calculated) turn of events, long remembered by audiences. I use it in my presentation of Alan Shaxon's Confabulation1. It can be employed with any effect in which the change in a spectator's pocket is divined or predicted, but it plays best as part of the final element in a series of predictions or divinations. The idea is quickly explained. At the point in the presentation when I...

Symbolico

A look at a totally new forcing deck based on the principles of the Bagshawe forcing pack that I use with great success in my stage act. The deck is described here for the first time. For about seven years, I have used as a forcing device a jumbo deck that is printed with symbols instead of card faces. It contains two groups of eight symbols, for a total of sixteen cards. One set from this symbol deck consists the eight symbols shown on the next page. You will need two sets of these eight...

Acknowledgments

Thanks to Harold Voit and Christian Dinter for their proofreading of the German edition of this book, and to T. A. Waters for his excellent suggestions for the English version. Thanks also to Alexander deCova, whose artwork for the German edition served as a valuable model for some of the illustrations in the present volume. A substantially different version of this book was published in German as Mental Mind-up by Zauberzentrale, Munich. Copyright 1992 by Ted Lesley and Harold Voit. English...

My Telephone Directory Test

Book tests in endless number, but many of them have considerable disadvantages. The best experiments of this kind come from England and America, but you must carry the gim-micked books with you. Books are heavy and bulky, making them a problem if you travel alone a lot, as I do. I am also of the opinion that one should avoid book tests in which a page is forced by rolling dice or selecting a playing card. My experience has shown that these procedures do not convince an audience. If a force is...

Mind Bender

Of 1987 Lee Earle presented to the public of Phoenix, Arizona, a spiritistic session titled Manifestations the Ultimate S ance. This production was very well received by Phoenix audiences and became the longest running theater production in the history of Arizona. In the closing months of 1989, Lee decided to document the workings of the complete s ance for his fellow mentalists. This took the form of a book, Manifestations, and six audio tapes, which detailed all effects and construction plans...

Serai Kiiier

The performer requests the assistance of someone from the audience, who joins him on stage. He next asks for everyone in the first few rows of the audience who has any paper currency on them to bring out a bill and hold it high in the air. The assisting spectator freely points to anyone with a bill and is sent out to that person with an envelope. The bill is sealed in the envelope and left with its owner, all while the performer remains on stage. Nevertheless, he proceeds to divine the serial...

Dissertation on tlye Center Tear

For the center tear have appeared in magical publications, but few authors have made the effort to consider the correct sell. One of the few is Punx. In a recent booklet, Punx concerned himself with the center tear, developing such a thoroughly new approach,4 it makes one feel trivial and unperceptive as a mentalist. His technical refinements leave even an intelligent spectator without a hint that the center of the billet plays a role during the tearing of the paper. I have mentioned this work...

Napontfje Rjdge

Hand Deal, in a simple two-hand version, first appeared in print in Sachs' 1885 classic, Sleight of Hand. British magician Lionel King made a feature of it in his performances during the first half of this century. Mr. King, before his death in 1958, gave A1 Koran and Billy McComb permission to use his routine. Those two gentlemen performed the experiment with great success, as have others since, including Ken Brooke. In my experience, the Nap Hand Deal is one of the strongest tricks possible...

Sign Onboard

A manila pay envelope is opened and shown empty. Without a false move, the envelope is given to a spectator, who seals it. From this point on the envelope is never touched again by the performer. A playing card is selected in the audience and signed. The performer then proceeds to teleport the signed card from the deck and into the sealed envelope, which the spectator has been holding the entire time The chosen card is forced. The secret compartment of the Teleport Envelope contains a duplicate...

Technicolor Graphology

Vosburgh Lyons, in which graphology rather than psychometry is represented as the operative phenomenon.2 The performer holds a small basket (like a simple breadbasket), which contains at least fifty correspondence cards and envelopes. These are not neatly arranged, but lie scattered in the basket. Five felt-tip pens are attached by their clips to the outer rim of the basket. Five spectators, preferably women, are each asked to remove from the basket a card, a...

Promonition

Are often technically easy to do, but demand excellent presentational ability to make them believable to the audience. Thus, it is p-esentatioti that can make almost any trick into a mental or bizarre effect. Even props decorated with glitter can be introduced into a mental performance if they can be given some believable identity other than that of a piece of magic apparatus for example, as some sort of occult apparatus. If you declare the prop to be an inheritance from a past master of...

Early Edition

OFTEN engaged by large companies to do employee motivational training or to entertain customers at expensive promotional meetings. These gatherings almost always occur in first-class hotels, in Germany and abroad. For these occasions I wished to find a headline prediction that was surefire and completely unexplainable. In addition, as is my bent, I wanted a method that would baffle everyone, public and magicians alike. It took years to develop a method that satisfied these criteria. The...

Te Sough of Horses Wings

A spectator is brought on stage and handed an empty envelope, which he seals himself and keeps in his possession. Another person selects a page from a book and is asked to memorize a few words from it. The book is given to him to hold and he is asked to join the performer and first spectator on stage. The performer steps back and concentrates. He then makes a slow, curious gesture toward the book, at which time everyone in the audience hears the distant sound of paper tearing He asks the...

Effect

Someone removes eight cards from a shuffled deck and thinks of one. While this is done, the performer stands at a distance with his back to the person. Despite these precautions, he manages to name the card thought of, without asking a single question Of course, there is a bit more to the story, quite a bit more. The mathematical principle on which this unusual experiment is based has been explored by such fine thinkers as Alex Elmsley and Bob Neale. However, the particular mathematical...

Herald from te Invisible Realms

He is then handed an invisible deck a purely imaginary pack, which he is encouraged to look through and remove his card. He is next given an invisible yellow label, which he is told to affix to the back of his invisible selection. Following this he is given an invisible pencil with which he is asked to think of any number from one to a hundred and write it on the label. After handling all these imaginary objects, the spectator is finally handed something...

Stage Performance

The Pegasus Page, as it has come to be known, a brilliant invention of Herbert Milton,6 is one of my favorite mental effects and, thanks to some small but telling refinements of which I am rather proud, it is one I've successfully used to baffle audiences and magicians throughout the world. You will certainly have anticipated that the torn page appears in the spectator's hands through the agency of a Teleport Envelope. You load the secret compartment with a folded page torn from the book you...

Seer of teTrivial

Aeffect is based on the very popular game Trivial Pursuit. During the last decade, millions of copies have been sold in many languages, and this game has enjoyed tremendous popularity. Since so many people are familiar with it, or at least know of it, it struck me as a good premise for a mental test. You are about to read the results of that idea. I am aware of only one other colleague who performs an effect based on this game Ross Johnson of Chicago, who demonstrated his routine in early 1988,...

Ted Lesley as Inventor

There are two given possibilities for invention in magic Either one refines methods, adapts them to fit the times or uses new objects, materials or handlings. Or one thinks of novel effects, which is, to be sure, much more difficult. Both types of invention are found in this book, but I most value the subtleties that represent the essentials of mental magic. Ted offers us a large number of these. So, as you read the routines described in these pages, pay close attention to the details. They are...

Back Magic1

STHE many years since I came up with Black Magic (pp. 89-92), I have found it extremely useful in many contexts. Here is how I apply it to Pseudo-psychometry. People are always fascinated by the ancient mathematical curiosity known as magic squares if they are presented quickly and smoothly. Intelligent audiences are particularly impressed by the rapid construction of one of these number squares that adds in all directions to a total freely stipulated by a spectator. In all the methods I have...

Vox Blaze

Best of my knowledge it was Craig Karges who first suggested doing Tom Sellers' Just Chance plot with the performer's pay check.7 His idea was excellent, as it took an effect that most often leaves the audience feeling as if they have lost something valuable in a game that was rigged, and turned it into a struggle for the performer, in which he must try under difficult circumstances to retain something that is rightfully his. In my interpretation of the plot I've added the visually dramatic...

Thoughts Untouched

Was developed from a trick by the South African mentalist, Basil Horwitz.1 In his routine, designed for performance before small groups, cards are used with small printed symbols on them. Mr. Horwitz had these symbols printed near one end of the cards, which strikes me as a rather illogical positioning for which no presentational motivation is given. In addition, during performance an envelope is given to the assisting spectator with the card inserted partially into it. The spectator is asked...

TeMentalists Tableclotf

Another utility item of great potential. I always use it in my Close-up Corner and in many other circumstances where I am called on to perform mentalism for audiences of modest size. It is not, however, an item that can be employed for table-hopping. As you will see, its uses and the effects it makes possible are extremely impressive. To construct a Mentalist's Tablecloth you will require two square pieces of velvet, one blue, the other black, each a yard square. I have had the twelve signs of...

Chapter Five

IN MY YOUTH, when I was still an apprentice tax-account in Cologne, every day I passed by a well-known bookstore on my way to the railway station. One evening I found a poster hanging in the shop's window, announcing a performance of the famous German magician, Alexander Adrion, in the theater of the Belgian House. I immediately bought a ticket and, as I returned home I wrote a letter to Herr Adrion, asking if we could meet after his show. A week later I got a generous reply, telling me that he...

Notes on My Life with Friends

We begin talking about tricks, I hope that some scanty autobiographical information will not seem overly vain. It occurs to me that knowing a little background of the fellow whose material one is poised to read may lend it some credentials, some evidence that it is worth your time and consideration. So if you will permit me, I'll now tell you just a little about this odd entertainer, this Ted Lesley, yours truly. On my birth in 1937, in the town of D ren in the Rheinland, my parents had no...

Dream Decks

Many years ago, as a subscriber to Harry Stanley's wonderful magazine, The Gen, that I first read of a special pack of cards, which has since become known as the A1 Koran Force Deck. While A1 Koran did use this style of force deck, it was not his invention. Edward Bagshawe, the English magic dealer, seems to have been the first to suggest a force pack that used duplicate banks of cards arranged in rotation.3 Fourteen years later Audley Walsh reinvented the concept and added a pumping sequence...

Tlye MoreVrequent Miracle

Of 1940 Tom Bowyer published a trick in the pages of The Sphinx5 that would inspire several generations of two-deck coincidence effects, including Paul Curry's The Power of Thought. Nevertheless, this trick, The Frequent Miracle, is surprisingly little known today. Some years ago my friend, Stanton Carlisle, brought it to my attention, and I immediately saw the potential for a two-phase routine capable of producing an extraordinary impact. The first phase consists of Mr. Bowyer's excellent...

Greater Magic By John Northern Hilliard

He was my great example as a professional. He worked for many years at the famous Lido, before all the great nightclubs and variety shows in the world discovered him. Dany, who unfortunately died in 1989, was for me the ne plus ultra of magical entertainers. It pleased him to captivate the most difficult audiences with small tricks. Even magicians were often baffled by many of his effects. During his appearances in Berlin, I saw his show many times and learned from them how a top professional...

Effects for an Invisible Author

Best of my knowledge it was Larry Becker who first published an application for a special set of invisible ink markers that appeared a few years back in toy, hobby and stationery shops.10 In Germany a company named Pelikan manufactures a wallet containing five Magic Signal Markers and a Magic Pen. If you draw with the Magic Pen over the inks of the other markers, the colors change. Conversely, if you write or draw with the Magic Pen, the ink is invisible on the paper until it is developed by...

Te Kismet Connection

The performer takes a red-backed deck of cards and a small envelope from his pocket. He removes a single card from this red pack and places it into the envelope without showing it to the audience. This envelope is left leaning against a glass on the performer's table, in full view. Someone is handed a blue-backed deck of cards and asked to remove the advertising card and the two jokers normally present in all decks . These are put aside. Next the spectator shuffles the cards and cuts them. He...

Construction oftlje Teleport Envelope

Envelope Construction

Need two completely opaque manila pay envelopes of the end-opening type. You can use any size of envelope that suits your needs. The preparation can be done in a few minutes. 1 Remove the adhesive from both envelopes. This is easily done with a soft eraser. 2 Carefully unseal the glued bottom flap of each envelope. 3 Now remove the back seamed side from one envelope by cutting along both long edges with a sharp knife. We will call the front side with the top and bottom flaps attached the...