The next effect uses the five marked index cards and the five five-dollar bills. These cards are secretly coded to allow you to match each card to the person to whom you hand it. There are several ways to do this.
One of the best ways, suggested by Charles Scott in Magick, is to use a blue pencil to slightly thicken the blue ruled lines on each card. In other words, the first card has the first line slightly darkened, the second card has the second line altered, and so on. If you prefer a tactile mark, as I do, simply press down on the line with your thumbnail, near the edge of the card. You can feel the mark as you run your fingers down the edge. You can also remove the nail-nick, leaving behind no evidence for post show
Pass the cards out to five people, keeping track of who has each coded card. Traditionally, this is done by passing the cards out from left to right, in order, but I prefer to use a simple mnemonic. Combining ideas of Fogel, Webster, and Earle, I associate each number with a color as follows:
This is the usual order of the spectrum, as remembered by the acronym ROY G. BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). So if you hand out card number one to a person wearing red, the memory work is done for you. Card number two can go to a red head, since red hair is really orange. Yellow can go to a blonde or to someone wearing a yellow tie. You get the idea; it's the same as in Fogel's SECOND SPOT and Lee Earle's NO-BRAINER BAGS. You may prefer to pass the cards out before the show. This saves time during the performance.
"Psychologists tell us that a lot can be determined from seemingly casual gestures, such as the things we absent-mindedly doodle when we're daydreaming or on the phone. Such doodles can act as a window into the subconscious mind. We 're going to have a little bit of fun testing this premise, so would each of you draw a doodle of some sort, a cartoon animal, a design, or even a squiggle if you're not artistically inclined. When you're through, please hand your drawings to Jim."
Someone raises their hand — the blue guy, you recall. "Do we write our names on the drawing?" he asks. Tag him as detail-sensitive and procedure conscious.
"No, it shouldn't be necessary. Jim, please mix them and bring them up here, and would you five come up as well."
Remove the five bills and hand one to each spectator. "In a moment, I'm going to analyze each drawing and tell you what your doodle says about you, things you thought nobody knew, things you were reluctant to admit even to yourself. I'm going to wager five dollars that I'll be right. If I'm wrong, you keep the money. " This is an idea from Fogel's SECOND SPOT routine. "Hand me the drawings."
You'll now analyze the drawings, giving cold readings for each one, and return it to each owner. This is impressive enough, but thanks to Larry Becker we can end the routine by reconstructing the drawing from the last spectator, ostensibly without ever looking at it. I cannot tip the method here, but Larry's idea can be found in his SNEAK THIEF routine, which is in STUNNERS. Larry has informed me that an updated handling of SNEAK THIEF will appear on his new video, which will be released by L & L. If you do not know Sneak Thief, look it up or buy it. Or do the Doodleology routine as written, without the design duplication.
Delivering appropriate cold readings for specific individuals is a matter of practice. It would require a treatise twice as big as this write-up to include readings for various people types, but if you want to do it for real, Andrea McNicholl, the handwriting expert, has a small book out called the Doodle Test, which actually teaches you to read doodles. Herb Dewey's new book, Mind-Blowing Psychic Readings has readings keyed to age and sex. See any of the good books on cold reading for plenty of material. Personally, I prefer to make it up as I go along. Also, in aura reading and numerology, each color has psychological characteristics associated with it. You can use the color associated with each person to cue your cold reading lines.
After you deliver your first analysis, carefully study each of the five people, possibly experiencing a moment of confusion between two, and then return the drawing to the correct person. "Is this yours?"
"Thankyou, " you say, as you grab the five dollars from him.
Repeat this with the next three spectators. I suggest you place the stack of cards on a table, or allow someone to hold them as you continue. This serves two purposes: it frees your hands to collect your money, and it removes the cards from play, making the final revelation more astonishing. For variety, you could feign indecision about a drawing, especially if it's just a squiggle. Go into a Lie Detector presentation for this one. Tell the four remaining participants that you will hold the drawing up in front of their eyes and ask them if it's theirs. Whether or not it is, they are to answer 'no.' "Try to fool me, using all the acting skills that years of marriage should have taught you." Return the drawing to the liar, snatching your money away. This gets funnier each time you do it.
For the last spectator, you can end one of two ways. If you have a couple of clipboards handy, and if you are familiar with SNEAK THIEF, you can stand back-to-back and duplicate the last drawing, deducing what he would draw from his psychological characteristics. If you're married to the idea of no added props, however, you can invert your cold reading procedure as follows:
"I see you as an action oriented person; you hate to wait for things. You become impatient with people who take all day to make up their mind, for instance. So you would probably draw an animal. Is that right?"
"You seem to be naturally assertive and like to be in control of a situation, so I would say that you would probably draw a jungle cat, such as a lion or tiger. Is this correct?"
Retrieve the drawing and look at it, chuckling. Return it to the last person, grabbing your money. Don't worry—they'll applaud.
This routine was inspired by L. Vosburg Lyon's GRAPHOLOGY with presentational ideas from Fogel's SECOND SPOT. I suggest you incorporate Becker's SNEAK THIEF for a strong ending.
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