This is the Add-A-Number routine mentioned in the previous write-up. In Suburban Charlatan I described one version of doing this effect. I've since come up with another, better way to do it. I included this handling in my lecture before the Psychic Entertainer's Association and it met with a great deal of enthusiasm.
The effect, as you know, is that you have three people in the audience write down three different four-digit numbers. The numbers are added up by a fourth person (the 'Witness'), and the total called out.
The total matches the prediction made by the performer earlier.
The method traditionally involves switching out the audience numbers for a set of numbers of your own (if you like to impress your audience, it is advisable that the sum of these numbers match your prediction!). We accomplish this in a way so sneaky you'll chuckle in an evil manner each time you perform it.
Place a stack of about six 3 " x 5 " index cards in a wide rubber band, so that the band is in the middle of the stack (Figure One makes this arrangement very clear).
Next, you will construct a gimmick that makes the effect possible.
Prepare an index card as follows: The bottom half of the card is actually an envelope stuck to the card. If you can find a white coin envelope that fits the card, simply cut it in half and glue it in place. If not, use another index card. Wrap it around the bottom half of the card and glue in place. On the top half of the card gimmick write your series of force numbers.
Take a half-card and round the bottom edges. You will want to trim off about 1/32 inch from the edge so that it will smoothly slide into the envelope. Insert the bottom edge of the half-card just barely under the envelope, and it will hide the pre-written numbers. This is Edward Bagshawe's idea, and is most popularly seen in the marketed trick Out-to-Lunch. (The envelope part is my idea). When the gimmick is placed at the face of the stack of cards under the rubber band everything looks normal. Since the rubber band hides the juncture, the somewhat complicated arrangement looks like an ordinary card.
You may want to make the device from a wallet containing a small calculator, such as described in Suburban Charlatan, for reasons that will become evident.
Place the goods in your pocket, and you're ready to proceed. Performance:
Elect someone to be the witness, and have him sign his name at the bottom of the prepared card. Go into the audience, and have three people, from widely separate parts of the room, write three four digit numbers. These numbers are written on the half card, which is concealed by the Out to Lunch principle.
Come over to the witness, and as you're apparently checking the numbers, with the tip of the pencil (or your finger) simply slide the half card downward, into the envelope. Your force numbers now come into view. Hand the goods to the witness to total. If you are using the calculator wallet option, allow him to use the calculator.
When he announces the total, reveal your prediction in the dramatic manner that years of marriage should have taught you! Here is a disclosure that I like, also described in the Charlatan book, based on an idea by T. A. Waters.
Remove your jacket and turn around, revealing a note pinned to your back. Ask the witness to read aloud what is written on the card. He reads:
"I'm going to kill that damned kid;" the performer mutters. "Unpin the card and read the other side."
He does as asked, and the card has a number written on it, and once again your prediction is correct!
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Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.