ALPHABET MENTALISM Barrie Richardson
The following demonstration is a routine which I developed for luncheon programs specifically with women in mind.
Women are far more inclined to accept the power of intuition than men. The routine makes use of old ideas« but the end result is a 10 minute demonstration which utilises several people from the audience in an entertaining and perplexing manner.
You ask the audience how many of them have played Scrabble and display a small, plastic bag containing numerous Scrabble letters.
A spectator is requested to remove a handful of letters from the bag, call them out loud and then drop them, one at a time, back into the bag. This simple act demonstrates that the letters are not all the same.
She is now handed the bag and asked to take it to the back of the room and allow another member of the audience to remove a small handful. This person is instructed to allow all the letters to dribble back into the bag, with the exception of one. The letter remaining is memorised and tossed back into the bag with the rest. This is repeated with two other audience members and at the end of this procedure three people will each be thinking of a letter of the alphabet.
You now take back the bag and ask yet smother person to remove a handful of letters and hold them in a clenched fist. You also reach in and remove a handful.
You now perform the Koran/Victor number force ...
Comment that the spectator doesn't know for sure how many letters she removed. Ask her to quietly count her letters and you count yours. You now make the famous statement. . .
"I predict that 1 will have as many letters as you, plus three more and enough left over to make thirteen letters when added to yours."
Ask her how many she has . . . SEVEN. You now count seven letters, one at a time, into a drinking glass. You point out that the first part of your statement is correct, you do have as many as her. You count another three letters into the glass and point out that the second part is also correct, you have three more. Finally you point out that your final statement was that when the remainder of your letters were added to her letters, the total would be thirteen.
Slowly you open your hand and six letters are seen!!
This final point can be milked by having her count her letters into the glass up to the count of seven and then you continue, ending on thirteen and showing your hand to now be empty.
Now for the next effect. . . Ask her to reach into the bag and remove a good handful of letters. You remove a handful too and comment that it would be miraculous if you had both removed the same number of letters. She counts her letters into the glass and so do you.
Impossible as it seems, you both had the exact same number of letters!! You now remind the audience that three people in the room are still thinking of letters and you offer to attempt an experiment in mind-reading.
You explain that the three people should stand. Now you instruct them as follows ..." In a few moments I will name the letters each of you are thinking of. When I do so you must simply sit down. You are not required to answer my statement in any way. If I call out the letter you are thinking of, simply sit down." After a few seconds concentration, you call out three letters and all three spectators sit down!!
The audience applaud and the routine is over.
The plastic bag is in fact a variation of a clear plastic change bag. In this case the bag is a shoe-bag with draw strings. A second clear bag, which is slightly shorter, is taped to one side.
The free side of the inner bag has one or two dabs of Blue-Tac.
The letters O, N and E (20 of them in all.) are placed in the inner bag. The remaining letters from your Scrabble set are placed in the outer bag. When the 1st spectator takes a handful, it is from the outer bag and the letters are obviously seen to be assorted. The letters are returned to the outer bag and the bag closed momentarily. This gives you the opportunity to glue the inner loose side to the outer bag.
The assistant is shown how to hold the bag open and she proceeds to force one of the letters O, N and E onto three members of the audience.
The Koran/Victor number force now follows . . . You take a good handful of letters from the outer bag, then allow the spectator to remove a handful from the same bag. You count your letters and he counts his. Let's assume that you have 36 letters. You will later state that you have as many as him, plus 6 and enough to make his letters equal 30. In other words, depending on the number of letters you have, you will state different values.
A simple rule is to state the last digit of your total as the number more than her letters you will have and the first digit, in this case 3 which represents 30, as the total of her and your remaining letters.
I'm sure that you will all be familiar with this age old principle anyway. The next stage is to remove the same amount of letters as the spectator and this is even easier.
Open the bag at the inner section containing the 20 letters and ask the spectator to remove a handful. You now remove and count as you do so the remaining letters in this section. This will allow you to calculate the number of letters the spectator has.
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