Close die spread of postcards and rotate the stuck so the audience can see the address side of the first postcard on the slack

To eliminate the colors and scenes, we will use the bat ks of the postcards. The backs are almost identical. / will hold up the postcards, one of a time, so that you can see only the back. J will (hen ask you a question like. "Wouldyou like this postcard'? " / will modify the words I use and my tone and pore to try to influence your selection If I do this correctly. the postcard you select will match what s on the banner on the wall. (Again. 1 point 10 the banner.)

i hold the slack in my leil liand, backs facing ihe audi I lift liie top postcard otfThe stack wilh my right hand. 1 keep it? back toward the spectator and audience.

Bob. would you like to stop at (be very firs: postcard?

If the person says, "No," 1 show the scene on the postcard to the audience and announce its location.

Bob, the ftnt postcard is the White House.

This helps everyone understand that all the scenes are different, i place this postcard on the bottom of the stack. 1 sometimes make humorous comments about some of the postcards '.u get people laughing. However, since September 11 most political jokes don't seem to go over as well.

I continue showing the postcards, one at a time, until the person selects one. As 1 show each po^iwuid. I modify the words I use as well as the tone, pace, and emphasis of my questions. The person normally stops me between the fourth and eighth postcard.

Now for the one move. When the person selects a postcard. 1 place the selected postcard back on the stack in my left hand. The address side is facing the audience. I hold the stack at shouldet level. I do this as openly and fairly as possible lo minimize any suspicion of sleight of hand. To provide a rationale for these actions, I ask the following question:

Bob, you slopped me a! the sixth postcard. Do you have any idea» many people stop me. at exactly the sixth post cord? (Most people will say "No.") One hundred percent of i'he people named Boh. That's why I'm going to write your ikvne on the posicurd and give it to you for a souvenir.

Men talis in. Incorporated

Still holding the stack of postcards in my left hand (about chest high, address sides still facing the audience), 1 write the person's name on the address side of :he selected postcard with a marker. Then, moving the stack to about waist level, I split the pair of postcards and hand the person Ihe postcard with his or her name on it. I bese actions appear very fair and natural. Pictures 2 and 3 show how I handle the postcards.

Picture 2 Picture 3

Hold onto (his postcard and uv will see if if matches what s written on my banner.

I remove the scissors and newspaper article from my right inside coat pocket. 1 approach a third person, i select someone from the first row of the audience who is wearing glasses.

For the fast selection, we will use a newspaper article that I rend recently andjinmd fascinating. My name, s Chuck Hickok. and you are... ? Chris, what's the headline on this article say?

My next actions are designed to allow the person. !o read the title of the article without noticing that the bottom paragraphs of the article are printed upside down

1 hold the article as shown below, with my thumb behind the article and my fingers covering the second paragraph. of die text My fingers are positioned so the person can read the headline and first paragraph. My little linger pulls the bottom part of the article back slightly so the last paragraphs can't be seen or read by this person or people nearby. 1 don't make a move out of ibis. See pictures 4 and > for this handling.

1 move about ten feet back from the person to prevent anyone near the front from noticing the upside down printing This is why ; pick someone from the front tow.

Thairight, i'i.'s "Mayor versus Cay Council. "It was ax exc if lug council meeting lint (his article has a line of text (hat caught my attention. I will try to influence you to select this line of taxi.

By the way, Chris, have you ever had a psychic experience > I'eople often say "No." Great, because in a few minutes you will. Just relax and listen to my instructions.

Tins article has over 60 lines oj text. 1 will slowly move the scissors up ana down this article. (Demonstrate these

Picture 1

Picture 5

actions.) When I get to the line of text ir, this article that matches what s on the banner, I will think "Stop. " I will try to influence your selection mind-io-mind. When you say "stop," I will cut the article at that line of (ext. i know this sounds a little strange. Just relax and trust your intuition. You will do great. Remember, whenever you want to me to Cut the article, call out "stop. "

I move the scissors up and down the article slowly

Again, whenever you want to me to cut the article, call out "stop. "

When die person says "stop," cut the article, letting the bottom part fall to the floor.

Chris, please do me a favor. Please come up here, pick up the article, and then return to your chair Thank you. .Vbiv please read, silently, the first line of text. Now please read the remaining (ext. Does the hue of text you cut to appear anywhere else in the article? If the *a/ne line of text appeared more than once in (he article, (hat would certainly inciease my odds of my being successful. Docs the line of text you cut to appear anywhere else in the article?

Note: These last lines arc used to address the natural suspicion that some people—who can't see the article might have. Is this overkill? 1 don't blow. Again, there are no absolutes. Over the years, I have grown comfortable using these lines to eliminate one possible solution or method.

:\ow. let's see if I was able to influence-, as Thmninger often did. the choices of three people using three different methods of influence, first the mini and gum. Xfaiy. there were Three flavors: peppermint, spearmint, and Which flavor did you select, based on the color of the package ? Spearmint.

I walk over to the banner remove the clip and slowly unroll the banner so the audience can see that it says "Spearmint."

Bob, you could have selected any one of twenty different locations. What location did you select ? The Lincoln Memorial.

I think i( :vi;v Abraham l.tncoln who said thai if someone bigger than you wants to pick a fight with you. always volunteer to first walk a mile in that person's shoes. That way, if the person is still mad at von. you will be <i mile ■•..;• .;:::! far.x theperse..-: v yhoc (Sorry, tlii- line is one of my favorite lines. And it creates some anticipation.)

I uuroli the banner so the audience can see that ii says "Lincoln Memorial.''

Chris, you '■.ere the hardest person to influence. Is it possible to influence people mind to mind? What docs the line of text say? " There was an air of expectancy. " The fust line -cads, "There was art air of expectancy"? OK, then that 's what we should see next on this banner.

This is optional, but my banner also contains two words—"Final Answer" before the line from the article. ! unroll the banner so the audience can rend "Final," pause, and allow them to read "Answer/' Revealing these two words will gc: a laugh.

Chris, is "There was an air of expectancy" your final answer '

1 uncoil the banner so the audience can see There was an air ol"expectancy." I tape the banner 10 the wall.

Of course, 1 could use a banner without 'TinaI Answer," but I like the additional element of suspense and the humor.

Final Thoughts

• While the props in this routine seem a little out of place or suspicious, they are items that people recognize. And because these items are used early in the act. the audi cncc may be more trusting at this point. All the audience members have seen thus far is an impressive, believable mathematics demonstration.

• This demonstration could be performed using other methods to force an object, item, or number. You may already have several good forcing methods. You do not need to buy any of the methods I use. However, it is hard for me lo imagine a fairer, stronger forcing method than the Miller Clipper.

• In some situations. 1 use six mints and a bit ot equivoque. 1 a^k the first person lo hold out both palms. 1 place the force mints in one palm and three indifferent mints in the other palm and say these words:

Please give me one handful hack. I see yon gave tne green, gold and white packs to use in this demonstration. (Or, I see you decided to keep the green, gold, and while pack to use.) '¡he colors you gave me tot held onto/ green, gold, and white—are seventy-five percent more attractive.

to people, bused an a recent study by Advertising Age. '¡'hat's whv von see these colors on so many packages. People almost always select the ones you did. So far so good I hand out the indifferent mints to other audience members.

1 do the rest of the demonstration as described. Then, just before unrolling the first choice on the banner, I ask, "Who ended up with the Cinnamon mint? Those arc my favorites." T'ni.s helps sell the idea thai all six packs were different. All four packs left in the audience can be inspected.

• The Ainmar Wax can he tricky in hot weather. I break the wax on each pair of postcards and then re-align the postcards before each show. This insures an easy separation.

• Things I've learned the hard way: Remember to trim the newspaper article to your force I inebefore the show. (Yes, 1 forgot one time.) Watch your distance from the audience when cutting the aitielc. DonT sland too close. (Yes. someone once asked, "Why are some of Ihe paragraphs printed upside down?") And don't leave the scissors in your carrying case. (I did once, and 1 had lo awkwardly look for scissors m the middle of my demonstration.) I now use my checklist (Appendix. Item 4) to make sure I have everything where 1 need ii before the show starts.

• Learning never ends. After 300 shows, I thought I had discovered almost everything that could sidetrack this demonstration. In a recent show, after pulling out the newspaper article, I said to a person in 'lie audience, "My name is Chuck Hickok: your name is... ?" The person said, "Wintasaka

Minnemiskaski." I asked the person lo repeat the name, and again heard a name I knew I could never repeal.

I slowly looked out al the audience. The audience sensed my dilemma and began to laugh. To move on with, the routine. I said. "Weil, for the nest Jew minutes I w iii coil you Tom.' 1 don't know where diat reply came from. But this iine go: a loud laugh. I relaxed and continued with the routine.

Alter the show, I evaluated how I handled the situation. Did my response offend this person? Maybe, is being called "Torn" ollensive to some people? I don't know. Bui I began searching for a heller response to use the next lime this occur*.

My current solution: the next time I hear a name I know I can t pronounce. I will say, "Weil, for (he next few minute* I .1 Hi cm','you 'my friend ' fs that Of-''*" 1 suspect that there may be a better solution, but J haven't discovered it yet.

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

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.

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