It is essential that the person brings the letter to the performance. You, therefore, should call him, if at all possible, a few hours beforehand and ask if he received the prediction. If you find you can't reach him before the show, you can assure that he has the envelope with him by introducing him in the audience, sometime early in your performance. You explain that he will later be an instrumental part of an experiment, after which you ask him then if he has the envelope on him? If he doesn't, you send him off to get it while you proceed with the performance. He will have returned with the envelope before you are ready to do the prediction.
Because the mechanics of the trick are over from your point of view, all that is left to do is to sell the effect, using the necessary verbal evasion that creates the picture you desire in the minds of the spectators.
The newspapers whose headlines are going to be predicted can be distributed in the audience or, even better, be displayed on stage. As the finale of your performance, you ask the dignitary to come on stage, where you have—and this is very important—a microphone awaiting him. Also, have a letter opener handy on a table near the mic.
You now begin to build the effect. The presentation might sound something like this:
"There are people with the ability to foresee coming events. Parapsychologists call this talent precognition. For my last experiment I wish to see if prophesy is really possible. Mr. Daluege, we have not really had a chance to meet or speak until this moment, is that right?"
"I mailed an envelope to Mr. Daluege. May I ask you to remove that envelope now from your pocket. Another question, sir: Have I touched that envelope since you received it?"
"Have a look at the postmark. Can you clearly identify it?"
"Would you please read the date of the postmark aloud for everyone?"
"October fifteenth, 1994."
"Would you please tell us today's date?"
"November fourth, 1994."
"Would you please tell us the date of the newspapers, which are on stage there?"
"November fourth, 1994."
"All those newspapers carry today's date then?"
"Would you again please read out the date of the postmark, sir?"
"October fifteenth, 1994."
"Would you open the letter now and read it aloud to us?" (Here you indicate the letter opener for his use.)
'"Berlin, October fifteenth, 1994.
"'Dear Mr. Daluege:
"'For the last five nights I have awakened after having dreamed. I immediately made notes about these dreams and am now organizing them in this letter. In my dreams I vaguely saw the headlines of the following newspapers before me:
'"First, Frankfurter Allgemeine, whose headline was...
"'Second, Die Welt. I only recognized a photograph, in which there seemed to be...
"'Third, the headline of Bild on November fourth contains something about...'"
After each headline or description of a photograph is read aloud by the spectator, you hand the corresponding newspaper to the audience in corroboration of your accuracy.
Of course, for the sake of believability, the predictions should paraphrase the day's headlines, not quote them word for word. Also, should you find, on the day of your performance, that the major news stories involve serious accidents or crimes, I recommended that your predictions either avoid these events or make only vague, blurry references to them. To predict such events accurately may raise some very thorny questions for you to deal with.
If you have forced playing cards, Tarot cards or addition totals during the show, you can include these events in the prediction as well. This actually lends credibility to the experiment, since the spectators have participated in these events.
You will have noticed how the conversation with the dignitary during the show is controlled to imply to the audience that he has been in possession of the prediction for days, not just hours. And for him you have arranged a trail of evidence that leads him to believe that he was meant to have the prediction earlier, and that, nevertheless, it has been kept safe in the hands of the hotel staff for days prior to his arrival. Since you wish him to notice the subtle and misleading traces you have provided, make sure that he takes the prediction and envelope with him when he leaves the stage.
I do not inform the dignitary in advance that he is to expect the prediction envelope. I used to do this several weeks before the show, but on two occasions I had the person call my office, a few days prior to the performance, to tell me he had not yet received the envelope. I then had to have my secretary explain that she had misplaced the proper address and had sent the prediction to the hotel instead. Luckily, the dignitary in each case did not call at the hotel for the prediction before the day of the performance, and everything went well. Now, though, I wait until I have planted the envelope, and later phone the dignitary's room to see if he has received it.
The reason you don't put his address on the prediction letter is that it might be read aloud with the rest of the prediction, and you want nothing on the prediction or envelope that could suggest that it might conceivably have been returned to you. Such a thought could provide a hint, albeit small, of your method. By avoiding an address, your tracks are completely covered.
Of course, the entry stamp on the envelope is calculated to stifle such suspicions, but the audience doesn't know about this stamp—and you must never mention it! Sooner or later the dignitary will have a look at the envelope and notice the entry stamp which, for him and those he talks to, puts the final touch of conviction on the authenticity of your prediction. And if you have included events that happened during the show among your predictions, the combination of principles and strong presentation leave no clue to any explanation but the one you desire.
Marvyn and Carol Roy— "Mr. Electric "
these artists came to the Red Rose after they had concluded a successful run at the world-famous Lido. Marvyn is one of the most creative conjurers I know. He has developed several successful shows during his career, always based on a single theme. In addition to his "Mr. Electric" act, known worldwide, he has been "The Magic Jeweler", an act he created and toured with Liberace for several years in Europe and in the U.S.
More recently he put together his show titled "Mr. Puzzle" for the Magic Castle. During the times that Marvyn is not touring, he works as a table-hopper several days a week at top restaurants and hotels in and around Los Angeles.
It is always rewarding to listen to Marvyn and Carol. They are a never-ending source of tips and good advice, which they gladly give to anyone interested in magic, if only one is willing to listen.
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