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 drawing over it with one of the other

""'$5,000.00 Challenge Prediction" in Larry Becker's World of Super Mentalism, Book Two, pp. 263-272, which is a clever updating of an old U.F. Grant trick, "The Baseball Prediction", that can be found in his compilation. Secrets.

markers. In the United States, similar "magic marker" sets are produced under the names "Marvey Color Tricks" and "Yes & Know". In considering the special properties of these pens, I've come up with some new mental magic ideas that I think have merit.

The Book Test

A spectator thinks of a word from a book. (The word is forced.) You hand him a piece of paper that you tear from a pad. (The slip has been prepared before the performance. It bears the forced word written invisibly with the "Magic Pen".) Ask the spectator to concentrate on his word and to burn his thoughts mentally into the paper. You then hand him a developing marker and have him color the slip with it. When he does, his burned-in thought becomes visible to everyone! If the force is deceptive and the presentation convincing, this trick can have a surprisingly strong effect.

Living and Dead

You can also use this principle for the well-known Living and Dead Test. Five spectators are each given a piece of paper. Four of them are asked to write down the name of a living person. The fifth spectator writes the name of a dead person on his slip. All papers are folded twice and mixed. Even the performer doesn't know which paper contains the name of the dead person. However, when the performer or a spectator moves a marker over the backs of the folded papers, the word "DEAD" or a skull appears on one. The performer takes this slip, still folded, tears it up and burns the pieces. (A center tear is executed.) He then concentrates and eventually names the dead person!


You can also use these pens for Pseudo-psychometry. Number the envelopes from one to five in a specific spot, using the

"Magic Pen". In performance, these envelopes are handed in order to five spectators, who are asked to seal some personal item in them and mix them. When they are returned to you, you concentrate on each, and jot down your impressions on the envelopes as they come to your mind. Actually, while pretending to make these notes, you go over the prepared spots with the developer marker and read the code numbers as they become visible. You now know the owners of the envelopes and can proceed with your psychometric readings.

TÍjeMentalist's close-up Corner


perform mentalism successfully or effectively while you try to compete with an orchestra and dancing couples at a candlelight dinner, working on tables strewn with used plates and glasses. The only thing you can be assured of after such a job is a sore throat from shouting to be heard all evening. In such cases I refuse to do table-hopping. Perhaps one can do magic from table to table, but close-up mentalism in such circumstances is next to impossible. Instead I suggest that a close-up corner be installed just outside the function room. Then, instead of having to introduce yourself at each table over the hubbub, your audience comes to you and can enjoy your show under optimum conditions.

My close-up corner is more than just a table and a few chairs in the foyer. For entertaining at such events I have bought a set of collapsible room dividers that I use to construct a miniature theater room. The specially designed metal frameworks unfold to make three skeleton walls, similar in function to a three-fold screen. (A friend, Claus Fleischhauer, specially designed and built the ones I use.) They fold down into a surprisingly small space and are transported in custom-fitted canvas bags with zippers.

I cover the unfolded frames with cloth panels, which I've had a decorator paint with astrological and ESP symbols. There is also a banner, proclaiming "Ted Lesley's Close-up Corner", that is hung over the entrance to the performance area. Then, to illuminate the "theater", inside and out, I clip portable spotlights to the raised panels.

Having such a portable theater made is unquestionably a costly affair, but if you are a working professional, everything you use should display obvious quality and taste. Please don't think you can achieve the same success with a cardboard sign stuck on the wall behind a table.

I use this structure when I expect to entertain a hundred and fifty or more guests at a time. For smaller groups I bring a decorated tent to serve the same function. A rectangular table with a white tablecloth and some comfortable chairs for the spectators are arranged either near the front of the three-sided screen assembly or inside the tent. The screen theater and the tent are designed to be eye-catching, and attract the party goers when they first enter the foyer. For that reason, I make sure it is fully installed before the group arrives. I also try to pick a location that is prominently situated, but quiet.

I recommend that you set a small fishbowl on one end of your performing table to collect business cards from the guests. Have several cards already in the bowl, so that everyone understands what it is for without your having to say anything. These cards can provide valuable business leads. Also have a stack of your business cards lying conveniently but discreetly on the table.

Generally, I will be engaged to perform a short platform or stage set for the group, between dinner and dessert, and before the band starts. At the end of this performance I tell the audience that after just a short break I will be in the lobby, where I will perform futher feats of mind reading under intimate conditions. This announcement never fails to fill my little theater. In fact, many times I have more people in my close-up corner than are in the ballroom, and I have frequently had the organizer of the event ask me to stop performing for a brief time, as the band was playing for empty tables.

However, there are times when this can become too much of a good thing. Occasionally the crowd in the Close-up Corner will become too large, and because people in back cannot see properly, they begin to talk and things become noisy and distracting. For such times, I carry a sign with a clock face on it, which reads "Next Show at...!" I bring my performance to a pleasant conclusion, thank the audience and disperse them, setting up this clock sign on the table. After a fifteen to twenty minute break I'll begin again, with a smaller crowd.

I've had such tremendous success over the years with my Close-up Corner idea, I wanted to explain the concept for your consideration. This setup can transform a mentalist's nightmare into a triumph, and lend your entire performance an extra measure of professionalism.

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