Effect - A diagram for interpreting the movements of a pendulum is introduced and the basic workings of the device are explained. As the pendulum is held, the spectator is instructed to close their eyes and concentrate on a question or concern they have. After a few moments, the spectator is told to write her question in one word on the slip of paper. It is then folded and torn up, the pieces being spread around the table. The pendulum is then held over the pieces and, bit-by-bit, the question is revealed and answered by the pendulum!
Method - For those who have been around mentalism, you are probably ahead of me on part of the method here. For those who know Docc well, you definitely know the modus. What's great about this presentation is that it's a combination of a variety of approaches and techniques that combines for a devastating demonstration.
Docc is a devotee and exponent of the classic center tear technique right out of Annemann. The main crux of this technique is NOT the tear itself, but WHEN to get the information. In this presentation Docc has devised the perfect 'moment' and misdirection for reading the center. As you probably know, when something is written in the center of a slip of paper, the paper folded in half once each way, and the resulting billet torn once in each direction, the center of the slip is intact and can be opened and read. This has been written up in literally dozens if not hundreds of places, so I won't go into any more detail here.
Basically you can use any slip of paper and draw the pendulum guide on it or have it preprinted like the accompanying illustration. Show the spectator the workings of the pendulum using the slip as in the presentation above.
Have them concentrate on their question and then write it on the center line of the slip. The natural design of the slip virtually assures that the writing will be centered. Also a nice touch here is to have the spectator reduce their question down to just one word ala Anderson. This will give you all the information you need to give a very satisfying presentation. Have them fold the slip once each way. All of this should be done while you turn away.
Do the center tear and cop the center by whatever means you normally use. Place all of the remaining torn pieces in a small pile on the table. Have the spectator hold the pendulum over the assembled pieces and concentrate on their question. Have them watch for movement of the pendulum to start to answer the question. It's during this time, when all attention is on the pendulum that you read the center. Where and exactly how is a matter of positioning of you relative to your spectators. You may be able to read it behind your spectators back as you lean over them. Just be alert and the opportunity will arise with no problem. The misdirection is just too strong!
Once you have the information on the slip, pick up all of the pieces on the table, adding the center. Tear the pieces some more, which tears the center, and spread all of the pieces in whatever space is available on the table. By having the spectator hold the pendulum over the torn pieces you are now in a position to direct the motions of the pendulum verbally and lead the spectator in the direction of having the question answered themselves.
There really isn't much more direction I can give on this piece except that it really borders on being an actual reading using the pendulum as an oracle. Since you know the basic root of the question involved, you can ask leading questions and have the pendulum respond. This is very much a 'play it by ear type of presentation. Docc's experience (as well as my own) is that this type of work plays very strongly and is perceived as genuine by those who wish to believe it. Just the fact that you couldn't know what their question is (!) makes the reading all the more impressive. It seems that the pendulum really knows the answers. Try this out. It's very strong.
Effect - You ask your spectator to think of any date during the year. It can a significant one or random. They are instructed to add the actual date with the number of the month (e.g. June = 6, August=8, etc.) You point out that there is no way you could know what the date they originally thought of was or the number they finally arrived at. While they concentrate, you hone in on the number, revealing it with nothing written down!
Method - What you just read is the ultimate version of this effect. I have been playing with this for a few years now and I have it down to about a 75% success ratio. Truth be told, you can actually have about a 95% success ratio if you want to overwork this, but, as you will see, this is not always desirable. In other words, this is not 100%. But that is not a problem as there is a killer out.
Please be advised that the following will seem long and drawn out. For those who stay with me through this, you will see why this is necessary. The effect itself is actually quite concise. There are just several ins and outs to get through the various possibilities. Those who skip this effect because of the length and apparent complexity of the write-up will miss out on a very strong piece of business. Enough said.
I originally came up with this (the date and mathematical part) sometime around 1989 or so. As far as I know, it is original with me and is being released here for the first time. I needed something that seemed to have literally hundreds of possible outcomes, but in reality only had a few. It was originally designed for use in a double writing routine (and still works very nicely there, thank you). The rest of this presentation has just evolved over years since then.
On first glance, if you were to think of any date in the year and add the date to the number of the month, there would seem to be hundreds of possibilities. In reality, there are only 42. This may not make sense just yet, but hang in there with me. For instance, if you were to think of September 23, you would add 23 + 9 (September is the 9th month of the year) for a final total of 32. Another couple of examples. June 7 would add up to 13 (7 + 6, June being the
6th month). November 17 would add up to 28 (17 + 11). And so on. The lowest number you can get is 2 (January 1), and largest is 43 (December 31). Every other date in the year falls somewhere in between. Try a couple of random dates and you will get the idea.
I have done this portion of the effect literally hundreds of times over the last few years and have never been questioned about the number of possible outcomes. This is due to the way it is presented, and will be discussed in full shortly. When this is presented correctly it seems to fly right by. In any event, even if the spectator does figure out the mathematical possibilities present here, the final outcome will leave them in the dust, as you will soon see.
For those who care about such things, on the next page is a chart that outlines all of the mathematical possibilities. The vertical column is the number of days (1-31) and the horizontal column represents the numerical equivalent of the months (1-12). I realize that not all of the months have 31 days, but this does cover all of the bases, and the actual number of days any one month has has no bearing on this effect. Besides, you never know when someone may think of February 31 just to try and screw you up. To find any particular date and the numerical outcome, simply locate the number of the month and cross-reference it with the date. Where those two numbers intersect on the chart is the final outcome. I didn't include this because I was concerned about my readers math skills. But it will come into play more as we proceed with the effect.
Basically, you will use a simple pumping procedure to (hopefully) arrive at the spectators chosen number. As I have already pointed out, this is not 100%, but once you have played with it awhile, you will be able to hit more often than not. Plus, before we are done I will supply you with the perfect way to practice this in front of the paying public and make them like it!
As with any pumping procedure, there are certain procedures that need to be followed in order to ascertain what the spectator is thinking of. Getting these in print so they make sense is a daunting task. I'll do the best I can.
Let's say that your spectator has selected a date and added the day and month numbers together. They are now thinking of a number between 2 and 43. First you need to impress upon the spectator the apparent number of possibilities in the selection process. I make a statement along the lines of, "You could have thought of any date during the year, correct? Since the average month has about 30 days and there are twelve months in the year, we have literally hundreds of possible numbers that you could have arrived at. Your date is completely unique and, as such, there is no way I can know ahead of time what your final total would be."
This statement gives the impression that there are many, many more possibilities than really exist. This is really the crux of the routine. As long as your
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