In the following, Ron Baillie has designed the " stage'" and Leslie May has placed the " play " thereon.
There have been many effects published where the mentalist, is enabled to obtain information by means of a book or magazine prepared with a sheet of carbon copying paper under the cover. As a result of experimentation, I have designed a book that has one or two points to recommend its use in place of most others.
The book that I use is one of the "Penguin" series; it has 122 pages plus a few containing advertisements. I cut out a block measuring 3| x 5 inches from the first 64 pages and fastened the cut out portion by means of Cellotape (Scotch Tape) to a corresponding position on page 65, i.e. the right hand side of the book. Let me mention
that the holding of the pages in place with cello-tape is preferable to glueing or pasting as the block of paper is not stiffened as it would be by using such adhesives. When complete the book can be handled as an unprepared book. On top
SJfudkmô, of the block I placed a sheet of plain white paper; this was also x 5 and was also kept in position with cellotape. Because of the fastening it can easily be exchanged.
Inside the front cover of the book I fastened a piece of writing carbon paper, carbon side down, i.e. the carbon side will rest against the sheet of paper on the ' ' block ' '. The ' ' frame ' ' of the 64 pages surrounding the block is now fastened, also by means of cellotape. to the front cover.
The book can now be closed and handled naturally, but when used as a support for the writing of a message on a billet, a copy of the writing will be made on the blank piece of paper fastened to the " block ". Don't forget that a short hard pencil should be used for such writing. Finally the long edge of pages 65/66 is cut short so that when the book is riffled from left to right, the thumb starts at the short page and those pages from sixty-six onwards pass the thumb and appear to the audience to be quite ordinary. Needless to say, no oral attention should be drawn to this state of affairs. If, however, the book is riffled from right to left by the left thumb it will end at the page holding a copy of the writing enabling the performer to glimpse same before closing the book and casually throwing it on to the table.
The following is the effect that I have evolved around Ron's excellent fake book :—
Have the fake book on the table at the bottom of a pile of four. Use the top three and have one selected for a book test. Thé unwanted two are replaced on the table in front of fake book. At the conclusion of the book test throw down the book actually used on to the table, then casually reassemble the pile leaving the fakd»book on top.
Then keep on the topic of books and state that practically everyone at sometime or another has secretly wishes to be an author, and that it is possible, providing you can only assemble your thoughts and reproduce them in the built-up form of a story or novel, etc.
Ask if anyone present has ever had such a desire; if somebody says " yes " all well and good, if not, select either the person who helped you in the book test, or some .other member of the audience. Ask and remember the name of the person who is to assist you. Ask this person to stand up and try and mentally form the outline of the form that their book will take. Say, "First of all, is it to be a story of adventure, a crime story, an historical romance, or what?" then, '' You had better jot down your thoughts in case some point is overlooked or forgotten ".
Hand the spectator a piece of paper that has either been on the table or in a pocket together with a pencil (see ante), and casually, and apparently as an afterthought, pick up the book and hand it to him as a support for the paper. " Now, sir," continue, " in what country is the action of the story to take place ... in Sunny Spain, the frozen wastes of Alaska, the quiet country lanes of England, the hills of Scotland or the bustling side-wa;lks of New York?" Next, " What period, the present day, a hundred years ago . . . prehistoric days?"
In each case get the spectator to make a note of what he determines, and at the same time warn him not to disclose what has been decided and noted. Next, ask what title would be selected; this is also noted.
The spectator is then told that having these facts noted, plus his or her talent, it should not be difficult for a good story to be built up from these points. Get the spectator to fold the paper and point out that the basic points are known only to him or her alone and they must be kept a dark secret until the book reaches publication. The book is casually retrieved and replaced on the pile on the table.
Inviting the spectator to be reseated, talk about the time when the manuscript will be finished; build up the picture of its submission to a publisher, the anxious period of awaiting his decision, the delight of hearing of its acceptance, etc.; of its appearance on bookstalls; its slow sales because of an unknown author, but as people of discernment discover its merit—(at this point pick up the fake book to illustrate your words). First riffle through from the rear of the book allowing the audience to see the pages, then gradually raising the book until, the pages are above the eye level of the spectators, leave the book open at the short page. Talk all the time of how the " browser ", when glancing through the book, is suddenly taken with the fine quality of the writing. Look down and quickly assimilate the carbon copy of the notes made by the spectator. Then, without hesitation, thumb with the right thumb towards back of the book again, carrying on with the oral digression on how the potential purchaser would act. The book is gradually lowered so that the audience can see the ordinary pages. It is then closed and placed down. Now using the knowledge that has been obtained from the carbon copy, plus the name of the spectator that was obtained in the beginning, build up a ' blurb ' about that magnificent (say) historical novel by Elsie Drever entitled "Swords
Continued on page 20
O stands for Oolu tlW?JM NAU»
EAST EH "WEEK.
Commencing Monday, April 14,1873, gnii Hitxl Ofueniti0 Iterfopaui^, AT 3 AND 8 O'CLOCK.
FAKIR of OOLU,
BEAUTIFUL ENTRANCED GIRL
(THE DENIZEN OF THE AIR)
IN T1IEIB CHAKMINTr BNTBB'l JTN'MK.ST, ENTITLE!)—
Or, the Modern Frankenstein.
Musical Illusionary Illustrations. ILLUSTRATING BEAUTIFUL HISTORIC PICTURES.
Frmr. the J. B. Findlay Collection
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