By Mark StbtVfNCS

Confabulation, by Alan Shaxon, is a classic in mentalism. It always elicits gasps whenever it is performed. As a direct result, many performers have found it to be a fitting closer for their programs. This variation includes an interesting departure in method as well as an extra kicker in the presentation.

Effect - The performer displays his/her passport and expounds the merits of travel. An imaginary vacation is proposed for some lucky member of the audience {let's say her name is Kathy). Using a small Post-It® slip to record the various facets of the vacation, various members of the audience determine the activities (for example, scuba diving), who is going along {ex. the Dallas Cowboys), the date of departure (ex, June 15) as well as how long they will be gone {ex. 8 days). All that is needed is a destination.

A stack of post cards is introduced and shown to be from various locations around the globe. The performer drops them slowly and singly to the table, the spectator says stop at any point they desire. This single post card is placed inside the passport. The other postcards are shown to be random. Finally the location on the chosen postcard is revealed. It's Paris! While the chosen spectator holds the Post-It® slip that contains all of the selections, the contents of the freely selected postcard are read. The entire text of the postcard is as follows.

"Paris, June 15"

"Hi guys, We know it's vacation time! Tel! Kathy hi for us. When she comes, be sure to bring the Dallas Cowboys. They will love the scuba diving here. The time will go by fast, only 8 days! We're looking forward to seeing everybody! Talk to you soon."

"Bob & Tammy"

The spectator gets to keep the postcard as a memento of this wonderful imaginary vacation (and the miracle that came with it!).

Method - As you can see, not only is the basic original Confabulation effect present, but there is also the double whammy of the selected postcard containing the entire text along with the various selections. Believe me when I tell you that this plays very strongly!

For this little miracle you will need all of the following. A stack of the generic postcards you can get from your post office. They come pre-paid with postage and have no decoration. You will need at least a dozen and will give one away at every performance, so get a decent supply of these should you decide to perform this regularly.

A Himber wallet of some sort. Personally I use Scotty York's wonderful Passport Wallet. It's not necessary but it does fit the presentation like a glove. The main consideration in selecting a wallet for this effect is that any one of the postcards must be able to be fit completely inside the wallet while it is in a closed condition. For use with the Passport Wallet, I find that I have to trim about 3/8 of an inch from the length of the postcards to get them to fit. This does not affect the appearance of the cards in any way and goes unnoticed.

This, by the way, is the reason why I don't use picture postcards from all over the place. The cards would have to cut down to size and this gets problematical depending on the image on the card. Of course, you are more than welcome to try and work this out for yourself.

You will also need a pad of Post-It® notes that are 2 x 3 inches and have the glue on one of the short ends. This is a standard make for these pads and should be available at your local office supplies outlet, A good pen completes the list.

There is a fair amount of preparation for this effect. However, most of it is prepared only once. The postcards are trimmed to size (if necessary}. If you are using the suggested post office cards, there will be a panel with a postage indication in the upper right hand corner. Put your name and home address on each of these cards. Try to make them all as close in appearance to each other as possible.

The opposite side of the card is completely blank. See the diagram to get an idea of what the format of the card will be. The location (in this example, Tokyo) and the date are across the top of the card. The body of the card is pretty full of text When writing these cards, don't be too neat. The reason for this will become apparent shortly. Use the same writing pen you will use in the performance. I try to make the text some-

what humorous and as 'real' sounding as possible. Just as if I were really receiveing these cards from a friend. The text you see in the diagram is taken directly from one of the cards that I use. You will need about a dozen of these cards with various locations, dates and body copy. Make the locations from around the world. The locations that I use are: Denver, Tokyo, Honolulu, Berlin, Toronto, Sydney, Lisbon, London, Cairo, Switzerland, Madrid, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico City, and Chicago.

To&jo, Av^yif 27i4i f+i gJtfir

Yov fenow what fhe^j 'Whe-n in KofY\o...t' WWi woro not in foxv\ot wore, in Toledo. So, 'whon m Tofojo'... £vc-r hoar of Safd? 1 now know more- abort that i oVor oared to know. I oan ako foil whaf Jnappeni whe-n tjouVe-had foo man^l! Tfnou^jhf I'd wrifo. Wo'H oali -fhk woc-hoftd. S00 yd —

606 £ Tarmitj

You will also need one other postcard per performance. The format is shown in the diagram below. Please note that certain areas of the card have been left blank {indicated by the shaded boxes), most notably the date (next to Paris), the name (Kathy in our example), a space for a name of someone, a space for an activity, and a small space for a number {of days). The actual layout of this card will depend on what himber type wallet you are using. In my case, the Passport Wallet has two flaps in each side of the case. I will place this card fully under the forward, smaller flap in the case. I will need to have access to as much of the writing surface as possible, so I have located the various 'blanks' to coincide with surface space that is available when the card is in place. See the diagram on the next page to get an idea of what I mean.

Park, IHIIIlp hi g/f,

- Thoy wtil \ovo iho ^S^Si^jM horo. Tho time- will ^p fast, only da^l Woro looking forward to <;oo'tng_ oVor^bod^ Taffc. to tjov Soon.

Bob f TaiyiiYHj

Paris, Jmo 15*

Wo Mow it's vacation time! Toil fCath^j hi for vs. Whc^i She- be, Swo to br'tr iho PalfaS Cowboy. Thotj will \ovo iho $cA/ba div'tflo^ he-ro. Tho time- will ¿p Uj fait, oml^ 8 ¿Jatjs' Woro looking forward to ^co'tng-c-^/orybodyf Taifc to i|ov Soon.

Bob ^ Tarnrvu|

• -:=:-.


: ■: ■ r: ¡'rrr;"'"""""":'" ¡"¡'¡'rr; mwi -; -; - s -; -i -; ->

If you are not using a Passport Wallet, simply place a blank postcard in the flap of your wallet that allows for the most surface to be exposed. Using a pencil, tightly trace the outline of the flap of your wallet directly onto the face of the card. When you write your message as above, be sure that the 'blanks' are in the outer areas where you can get at them with the card in the wallet. Simply erase all traces of the pencil outline once you have written your message. The card is ready.

Again this card needs to be written in the same pen as you will use in the actual performance. You may want to make up several of these at one time so that your reset time between performances is reduced.

You're nearly ready. Place the postcard with the blanks on it in position in one side (Side 'B') of the case. Take one Post-It® note and attach it directly on the card as shown in the diagram. The rest of the Post-It® is on the outside of the flap and can be written on. Open the wallet to the other side (Side 'A') and place a single Post-It® in roughly the same position as on the other side. See the diagram on the previous page. The rest of the postcards are in an easily accessible place and the pen is in your pocket. You're ready to go.

Remove the wallet and open it to Side 'A' to reveal the Post-It® note. I patter about traveling and make a joke about how I'm getting ready to do some major trips. Only one problem - no passport. But I do have the wallet! This elicits small chuckles. I explain that we are going to create an imaginary vacation for someone in the audience. A volunteer is selected. She is allowed to remain in her seat Get this persons name.

While all of this is going on, you have casually closed the case. Once you get the spectators name, open the case to Side 'B'. You will now double write all of the ensuing information. Write the volunteers name (Kathy) on both the Post-It® note and the space on the postcard. When writing the information on the postcard, try to match the writing style of the rest of the note. This is the reason for not writing too neatly to begin with. Using only the wallet for support, your writing is going to be somewhat less than wonderful anyway, so be sure to plan accordingly.

Have your volunteer point to someone else in the crowd, preferably someone they do not know. Ask this person to name any month of the year. Suppose they say June. Write 'June' on the Post-It® and '6' (representing the month of June) in the space at the top of the postcard. Have this spectator point to someone else, again, someone they don't know. This will happen each time you move on to the next piece of information. Have this new person name a number between 1 and 30 (or 31 if the month that was named has that many days). Double write this information on the slip and in the space on the card.

Have them select someone else. Have this person name someone (or a group of 'someone's') to go on the trip. At this point I always include the names of movies stars, athletic teams, cartoon characters and politicians as examples. This opens the door for some very funny situations. Once the name is given {I have even had famous animals named!), double write it appropriately.

Have them select someone else. Have this new person select an activity. I usu ally give examples of scuba diving, skiing, bird watching, etc. to get the ball rolling. Again, there is much possibility for some great situational humor here. Double write the information. Have a new person selected and have them decide how many days the trip will take and record the information with double writing.

You're nearly done by this point. Close the wallet and drop it to the table. Have your main spectator (Kathy) come forward. Introduce the stack of postcards and show the various destinations and messages on each in a random fashion. I usually read the entire text of a card or two as time allows. Turn the cards message side down and mix them. Instruct the spectator to call stop at anytime as you drop them one at a time to the table. Make the selection as fair as possible. Once they have selected a card drop it to the table, message down and open the wallet to Side 'A', making sure to conceal the fact that the Post-It® is blank. Pick up the postcard and place it into the wallet, placing the Post-It® onto it in the same relative position as the card on Side 'B'. You will have to work out the exact handling of the props here, depending on your actual wallet. Just be sure not to flash the Post-It® and get the card in to the case completely. Watch your

Close the case once again and table it. Turn the postcards on each side of the selections location over to reveal random locations on each. Open the wallet to Side 'B' and reveal to the audience that the destination is Paris, Very exciting! Remove the card and table the wallet You can now hand your volunteer the Post-It® to show the various items that were called. Have the spectator read silently over your shoulder as you read aloud the entire text of the message. Be sure to point out each 'hit' as it occurs. For instance, I will ask what date was chosen at random from our audience. They will say what it was (as written on the Post-It®) and you can now read it off the postcard. Continue with the entire message. The look on your spectators face will speak volumes! Allow them to keep the postcard and return them to their seat with much applause.

Afterthoughts - Be sure to point out that the spectator could have stopped you at any postcard, but they chose the one they did by chance. This is a showstopper. It's pretty easy to do and it kills. Now go forth and do likewise!


The typical response to 'A Confabulous Vacation'.

The typical response to 'A Confabulous Vacation'.

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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