It is not the intent or purpose in this manuscript to offer a voluminous or much padded affair to create size and mislead patrons. We will give full data, methods, etc. in brief but understandable manner, leaving irrevel-ant matter out entirely, as there are many books already published that border in many instances on this great fault.
Mind Reading, Crystal Gazing, etc. has become one of the most fascinating arts of recent years to mystify and amuse audiences of a mixed nature. Those who are skeptical as well as those who have true belief both find it has compelling interest. The following treatise will tell you in a concise manner just how you may prepare a nice act in mind-reading that will reach both the believer and the skeptic, and all without a great outlay of time, money or preparation.
We enclose sketches, etc. with numbers, letters, etc. which will be referred to during description of the fact. The diagram of stage shows plainly just the arrangement that should be adhered to as correctly as possible under the varying circumstances that you will meet from time to time while presenting act under various conditions.
Equipment necessary outside of any extra effect you wish to introduce of your own origin, should consist of:
1 Small Table; 1 chair; 3 small blackboards(large silicate flaps will serve purpose nicely). The size of these should be about 18 x
24" and can be ms.de by coating large sheets of cardboard with silicate paint.
In addition to above a Brazier or Burner of some sort should be provided. Brass is preferable and any sort of jardiniere of oriental design will answer nicely. This is to be used to burn up questions given to attendants by audience and which later are to be answered by Seer. A Crystal Gazing Globe also should be included in equipment, a suitable size for stage purposes being the 4" ones. Larger ones will be found a little too heavy, and smaller ones not big enough to cause good flash, nor be seen plainly.
There is also a further preparation that should be carried out in the most careful manner possible as it is one of the most essential things introduced to make the act a success. This is the arrangement of a number of envelopes and cards after following manner:
A-good-quantity of envelopes and cards are.numhered, using, as few or many as you deem necessary, this being governed by size of audience you are presenting act to.
A duplicate set exactly like original set is also made up, and in original set, all even numbers are placed in one pile, and odd in another, with envelopes numbered from 1 up to number used as finish. You also divide duplicate set up in even packets,but no heed need be taken of odd or even as these are simply for switch. The original two packets however must be kept in rotation, lowest to highest number; also all even numbers in one packet and odd in other.
With two visible attendants on right and left, performer enters at Right or Left upper entry, as curtain rises on full stage, lights at low amber, same being raised to full height as performer advances to center down stage where, after making bow, he proceeds to offer a discourse on experiments of the nature he is about to present, stating that in no way is the use of wires, wireless, etc., used in presenting this miracle in seership.
Finishing his speech with the remark that In this enlightened twentieth century there is too general a knowledge on occult manifestations, and mental science for him to offer an explanation and he will leave it to those present to determine just what forces, mysterious or otherwise are brought into action and made use of during the experiments that are to follow.
Performer now explains the attendants will pass out cards and envelopes to those present, but owing to limited time allotted to act, but a limited number can be given cards and envelopes; state that any sensible question may be written on card, name signed in full; address and phone number may be added if desired. The questions are to be placed in envelopes and securely sealed and given back to attendant when ready.
Attendants now take the two packets of envelopes with cards inside of same, one with even numbers passing up right aisle, one with odd numbers passing up left. With packets arranged as previously explained, #1 on top for odd, and #2 for even, and so on, it will be plainly seen that if attendant passes these envelopes out in rotation to various ones as he works to rear of house, the very fact that later on when collected, the low numbers will indicate location of questioner to be in front of the house, medium numbers in middle of house, and large ones at rear, likewise odd will indicate left hand side, even the right hand side, etc.
During the passing out of envelopes and cards, the time taken up in the writing of questions by audience, the seer or lecturer should arrange a spirited talk on Mental Telepathy, Crystal Gazing, Mind Reading, Thought Transference, etc. letting it be of sufficient scientific nature to not permit the audience to treat the matter too lightly, yet not of such a deep nature as to Iiore the usual mixed audiences that you find you will have to work and endeavor to entertain and mystify.
Before assistants pass among audience he should conceal the duplicate packet in an easily accessible pocket, so a switch may be made quickly and without detection. This Is effected at rear of house in following manner. As they pass each other, right attendant slips lis questions.'to left attendant taking switch packet from pocket and passes down the left aisle up on stage and deposits his packet in full view on table or retains same in hand temporary.
Le£L~afctendan,t- secretly-secures his switch4>aeketr-mtd~depos"t.t.q his-ques-^ tions as well as those given him by Right—Attendant in pocket as he passes from rear down right aisle up to stage, the switch packet being kept well in view as he passes down aisle. He also steps upon stage and his packet as well as ithat of Right Attendant are now visibly'placed in brass urn or Brazier and set fire to, allowing all to be burnt to ashes.
While questions are being burnt, Left Attendant walks off stage into wings and passes all questions to Back Worker, who as diagram will show, is seated at table as per position in sketch, blackboards read, also some sticks of very soft chalk, who proceeds to open the envelopes quickly and get ready to convey by blackboard writing, all information to performer later on.
Performer having directed the burning of questions, now turns toward exit where Left Assistant stepped off and with a gesture indicates to Left Attendant he is ready, who now brings on Crystal Gazing Ball, same being wrapped in piece of colored silk or similar material.
Performer now takes position down stage as far as possible just so he is in position to see Back Worker and messages written on blackboard. It will be found surprising what a latitude the performer will find where he will have clear vision of the Back Worker and he should take full advantage of this,,as it will do much to dispell the idea that but certain places on stage are available, owing to there being metal contact for telephone, etc. which is bound to be entertained secretly by audience as one of the many plausible solutions of your secret method.
The performer in order to allow Back Worker ample time to get out the various questions and write information needed, proceeds as follows:
"The first impression I get seems to be number 15 (this is low number also odd and naturally indicates left side, near front of house) and it appears to come from a person on the left over here, well down in front. Yes I am quite right, etc." By this time back worker has gotten out the question from envelope #15 and written down name and address as well as abbreviated substance of question asked, and turned blackboard facing the performer, who with crystal in hand and while intently gazing into same, is really looking at blackboard and making mental note of the name, question, etc. written there.
While performer is developing this question, gradually disclosing the nature of question, name of person, etc. Back Worker has opened another question, or rather taken same out and copied name, question, number, etc. on another blackboard, and placed same in line of performer's vision, same being ready for performer when he has disposed of #15.
Where performer has good memory, and questions asked are brief, two or three may be written at one time on the small blackboard, and performer may memorize same and walk down among audience, give number, (approximate location indicated in this way) and then calling persons name, and if performer is good showman, can quickly discover the person in question walking up to them, tells them question asked and offers an answer such as he thinks suitable for same.
Repeat this with another, then-the. third and the effeci: will be found wonderful and impressive, but as stated it will require good showmanship,, which means many things including good memory, quickness of sight, fluent tongue, adaptability to varying conditions, and many hours of hard and tedious practice.
An angle that may act as a diversion is for Back Worker to flash to Performer a number and name while performer is working on another question. Performer hesitates, wipes off crystal, walks down to side of stage that number indicates, (odd left, even right) and says for instance "Mrs. Williams, I realize you are very anxious to have your question answered and if you will hear with me just a moment, I will take care of you just as soon as I have finished with-----(one he was working on when the apparent interruption took place)." Performer now resumes with former question and in meantime Back Worker has written question of Mrs. Williams on board, or may do it at time he flashes her name and number and performer takes up her question now and elaborates on same as much as possible to continue dramatic effect started by the preceeding interruption.
In the above manner the various questions are answered, all being done without aid of elaborate preparation, and the effect produced is simply wonderful. There should be no difficulty whatsoever in putting over this act just as we have described it, but it must be borne in mind that success will only come to those that realize that the essential things in an act of this kind embody Alertness of Mind, Speech and Body, a good well modulated speaking voice, quick wit, ability to create dramatic situations and climaxes, well trained memory, ability to gracefully pass over mistakes when unavoidably made by self or assistants, training of attendants perfectly, and the creation of an atmosphere of Mysticism by your own actions as well as that of assistants, coupled with proper stage environment, costumes, burning of incense, etc.
In conclusion we wish to offer a very exceptional and ingenious switch that we trust will be kept sacred as it makes it possible for Left Assistant, who has the hardest task, to make switch that simply cannot be discovered even by those who are familiar with the various methods and are looking for same. This is the method used.
Seated in aisle seat is a lady assistant, who to all appearances is an ordinary spectator. She is viewing the passing up and down of attendants with but ordinary interest, handbag in lap, with catch on same loosened. Attendant pays no attention to her, and trys to omit taking some question in her immediate vicinity until he has a good stack in his hand. He now approaches place where some one has question to be passed to him, reaches over to secure same, drops a number of the original questions in her handbag which is opened at proper moment to receive same.
After a brief period, this lady as tho an ordinary spectator, quietly passes out and secretly gets to rear of house or slips envelopes to a waiting attendant yho sees they are eventually placed in possession of back worker who proceeds as previously mentioned in writing same on blackboard for performer to note and answer. It will be quickly seen this method of a . switch may be used as a foundation for getting possession of questions under the sharp eyes of any audience, and can never be detected if ordinary care is used.
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