This presentation was originally published on the video tape which accompanied the limited release version of my Clone Pad. Out of respect for the investment made by the purchasers of that exclusive offering, I have withheld this routine from the market for several years. Until now, just fifty performers in the world are aware of this awesome secret.
Imagine this: You ask participant from the audience to read your mind. She turns aside as you sketch a simple image, such as a rainbow, a comb, or an airplane. Fold your drawing or place it out of sight. Hand her a sketch pad and, after a false start or two (and perhaps some encouragement from you), she begins to draw. She duplicates the drawing you made earlier!
The drawing you project to her can be simple or detailed, and you will use a different image for each performance. There is no physical or psychological force. She is neither an accomplice nor an instant stooge.
That participant will go to her grave knowing that she received your thoughts. You placed a detailed image in her brain but she has no idea, other than by true telepathy, how you did it!
You must you choose an intelligent participant and you must arrange for your host to introduce you to her before the performance. Your pre-show work is the key to your success.
A loose definition of "Pre-show work:" That preparation which takes place out of sight of the audience, before the performance, involving interaction with participants from the audience. It is usually as innocent as the advance selection of a willing volunteer. It is occasionally as devious as enlisting a confederate to produce a particular effect (the shirt pull, for example). On the rare occasion, you can "train" a participant.
Pre-show work allows a calm, unhurried selection of people who are willing to help on stage. Easing their apprehensions about being before a large group goes a long way toward producing a smooth performance. During one-on-one pre-show work, the Mentalist can engineer situations which will play to his benefit. Train-a-Thought is one of these.
Never approach a potential helper "cold." Almost always, one can ask the host, sponsor, or company representative to perform the necessary introductions. Request someone who is attractive, has a good imagination, and who will be comfortable on stage. Avoid those who have a physical infirmity or poor vision. A pre-show selection accomplishes this without embarrassment to either helper or performer.
By dealing with the apprehension factor in your pre-show interview, you remove one potential obstacle. Many of the Psychic Entertainer's problems are due to inadequate or misunderstood instructions to the participant. Under the pressure of the performance, either the Mentalist or the helper gets confused and the situation deteriorates.
There is an additional benefit of pre-show interviews. You can "crash and burn"
with only an audience of one to witness your error. If your host steers you to an absolute yutz who can't find his head with his hat, you can describe a situation which never arises. "It is unlikely that I will call on you, but I want to have extra performance material in reserve. If the show ends without your participation, I'm sure you will understand." You let him down easy, without hurting his feelings. Then ask your host for an introduction to someone else.
Pull your likely candidate aside from the others. Tell her, "I requested that our host introduce me to someone who has a good imagination, and you are his choice. I would like to have you come on stage to help me during the performance, but I prefer to ask permission in advance. Do you object to being the star of the show?" Flattery will get you everywhere. Should the lady decline your invitation, thank her for talking with you and have your host find another person. Never plead, cajole, or beg for help. You needn't "railroad" someone into participating.
When you have confirmed a willing participant you can proceed. Say, "We will put that imagination to good use this evening, but I must confess a bit of nervousness. To use a cliche, I will be performing without a net. I am much more confidant if I can make sure of our mental communication in advance. Do you mind trying a little experiment?" Rather than appearing bold, brash, and in control, you are showing that you are vulnerable and apprehensive. This goes a long way toward eliciting the help you require. Arrogance does not beget sympathy.
You continue, "I want to see if our minds are 'in synch' or 'en rapport.' We need to be on the same frequency. Let's test our mental connection. I am thinking of a single digit, zero through nine. In a moment a number will come into your mind. Do you have it? What number is it?" She answers, "Seven."
"Really? You got a seven? That is the number I had in mind," you lie, "Let's try it again. This time with a color. A simple rainbow color, not a vermillion or chartreuse. Ready? I'm picturing that color now. What do you see in your mind?"
She says, "Blue." Prevaricating further, you continue, "That's very close. I had purple in my mind. Let's go further this time with a more involved image. I will picture an object. Something you can touch or paint. A simple object. Is it coming into your mind? Can you see it?" She usually hesitates and says, "Yes." If she delays longer than a few seconds you say, "It might appear to come from memory or imagination. An image of a simple object (such as a chair, a pair of glasses, a bicycle, a tree) will should be forming your mind. Do you have it now?"
"Great. I want you to see the image I am projecting to you. Can you outline that image in your mind's eye? I want you to trace over every line to burn it into your memory. Would it help if you could do it on paper? Here, use this." You remove a scrap of paper from your wallet. Perhaps it is a receipt from the dry cleaners, a deposit slip from your checkbook, or a shopping list. Hand a pen to your participant and offer the blank side for her to use for her image tracing.
Do not try to see the drawing. In fact, you must be very obvious in turning away. Mention that you mustn't see what she is tracing because that would contaminate the experiment. Ask if she is through drawing and visualizing her object. "I can't quite perceive whether that is the same as my image or not. I need to know before I commit a fatal error in front of the audience. I am ninety five percent sure, but I can't take a chance! What color is it? What color is this object painted? That should be enough for me to know for sure." Her answer is, "Red."
"Perfect. I know you have it! Tear up that paper, throw it away. Your reception is flawless. Later, on stage, I will repeat sending to you that very same object. I may add a detail or two, but it will be essentially the same. All you must do is repeat your reception of that image and the extra detail. Can you do that? Thanks." Escort the participant back to the group from which she came. Perhaps you might even mention to her friends, "She has an outstanding ability. I can't wait to show her off to the group."
The piece of paper is the key element. It allows you to get a secret impression of whatever she draws upon \ /T^)]
it so you can mentally send that same image to her on stage. I use an impression clipboard, the Micro Thin Clipboard to be precise, to capture the drawing. The paper under the clip is a dummy pre-show checklist full of notes and scribbles. When we , need something for her to draw upon, I tear /
the paper in half and put the checklist /
portion in my pocket. It is natural to use the board as support for the remaining scrap of paper as she traces her image /
upon it. I never ask for her to return the clipboard or pen. She will remind me to take them back.
If you feel guilty using a /
clipboard, make up a few dummy receipts and carry them in your wallet. Rub /
the front of them, the receipt side, with paraffin or soap. When someone writes or draws on the back side of these receipts, an invisible tracing will transfer onto the supporting surface. A painted wall, a tabletop, and a book's dust jacket will all serve as excellent surfaces for retaining the invisible waxen tracing. Anything flat, hard, and smooth will suffice. Be sure to test the paper and surface together before you steer your participant in that direction.
The key point here is to appear impromptu. Your helper might become suspicious if you "just happen" to have a clipboard with a pristine piece of paper at the ready. The same is true about other devices dear to the hearts of magicians. You arouse less suspicion if you appear absolutely offhand and use an innocent scrap of paper.
After your helper is back with her group, amble over to the spot where the tracing awaits and glimpse her drawing. You can usually view the surface using reflected light to see the image. For emergencies, keep a little baggie of copier toner and a soft camel hair brush handy. The brush will apply just enough of that black powder to the wax to make it easily visible; pretend you are a detective with a fingerprint kit. You will seldom require the powder and brush treatment, but it is comfortable to know you have a way of salvaging a faint image. Remember to remove the evidence.
If you can't make out the image you can always select another helper and repeat the process. After all, you haven't promised anything to anyone.
When both the image and the participant are satisfactory, you are ready for the performance.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have someone in the audience who possesses a remarkable mind. I met her before the program and I would like to introduce her to you now. You will remember her talent as the high point of this show, Ms. Christara Earle."
Go down into the audience and escort the lady to the stage. Ask her if she is comfortable and if she would rather stand or sit. Make a little small talk to relax her. Don't talk about her, talk to her. Ignore the audience for a few seconds and focus all of your attention on her. Once she feels at home, you continue, "You and I talked, Christara, before the program, and we tested our mental communication." She agrees.
"I thought of a number and you received the same number. Then I placed a color in my mind and you came very close to perceiving that exact color, correct?" Again, she confirms.
"Then we agreed to try this mental television with the image of an object such as a chair, a pair of glasses, a bicycle, or a tree. We are going to do that now. I will place the image in my mind and you will receive it, exactly as we practiced. Please turn aside while I draw my image for the audience." When she has turned away, let a look of concentration/imagination come over your face. The audience must believe that you are just now deciding what object to draw.
Of course, you actually sketch your version of her earlier image, the one you secretly gained via impression technique. If you have any sketching skills, feel free to display them here. Just make sure that it will appear that her drawing is close enough to yours to be considered a "hit." Don't allow the audience to see the drawing. Remove the sheet and fold it to playing card size and place it in your breast pocket. It remains in full view.
Ask your participant to once again face the audience. Hand the sketch pad and pen to her and instruct, "I will focus upon my image now. I am adding just a little more detail this time. I will give you one little hint. The object is red." You have used the same example words, the same terminology, and (perhaps most important) the same color which she associated with the pre-show image. "When you feel my mind touch yours, put the pen to the paper and draw."
The audience is the victim of pure double speak. You have explained the pre-show meeting in terms which the audience and your helper interpret differently. The participant's confirmation of your supposedly open explanation of the pre-show testing procedure makes everything above reproach. You have also reminded the helper of the pre-show conditioning and have set her up to succeed.
Show a little emotion, some elation and excitement. Project a sense of uncertainty about the outcome. Peek over your helper's shoulder as she draws. This also insures that she is not channeling Ramtha and drawing something from outer space. Should that be the case, you can stop her and claim that you allowed your mind to unfocus. Let the audience know that your lack of concentration is responsible for the jumbled image she has been receiving.
Tear that sheet from the pad and then reinstruct her. Your audience assumes that you are just calming her down a bit. "Remember, we practiced with a number and then a color. You did very well on those. Then we agreed to try it with an object. I am thinking of that red object now. Think back to when we practiced, when you traced that image in your mind. Can you do it again?" You will seldom require this emergency reiteration. Take comfort in knowing that it can be done right under the audience's collective nose.
Now prepare for the revelation and applause. First, you must position yourself as physically close to the participant as possible. Movie and TV people call this being "in frame."
Have your helper hold the pad with the drawing facing her. Pull your folded sketch from your breast pocket and open it in front of the pad. Do this so the helper cannot get a glimpse of it. The two drawings are on opposite sides of the sketch pad. Both should be right side up.
Hold the pad and drawing together as one and tell the audience, "While I was thinking of this," pointing to the unfolded drawing on the front, "Christara was drawing this!" Rotate both the pad and the unfolded drawing, bringing her sketch to the front and your drawing to the rear. The audience sees the matching drawing for the first time and the participant sees your drawing for the first time. Her look of amazement, her duplication of your drawing, and you (smiling triumphantly) are all within a very small visual area.
Lead the applause for your participant and escort her at least as far as the foot of the steps leading to your stage. Then return to the spotlight to continue the applause for her. There will more than enough for you to share.
A collection of routines from Lee Earle's early lectures, performances, & publications
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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.