Another Application of the Touch Reading Envelope

It is an easy matter to slip a few grains of sugar (white granulated sucrose) into an envelope, and it is just as easy to feel the sugar grains through the envelope. The ability to identify one envelope by touch puts you in a position to perform many effects. To give you some examples, the envelope can be used for identifying the right key in the "Seven Keys to Baldpate" mental effect. It can be used to identify a "plant" question when performing a series of "Question and Answer" effects—the plant envelope allows you to get a "One-ahead" system in operation. It can be of use for several versions of the "Living and Dead" test, where it contains the only dead name amid several living ones, and it will serve to locate a playing card sealed from view and mixed with other envelopes containing cards.

According to the effect I vary the technique of using grains of sugar. If the envelopes are very thick—the heavy manilla kind, it is as well to use a small bead in place of sugar; if the envelopes are ordinary the sugar is quite adequate. To make the touch reading part much easier, I frequently stick the grains inside in one corner with selotape. However, some effects require that you tip out the sugar to have the envelope examined, so then it must be loose inside. If you consider, it would be quite a simple matter to work out an index system with envelopes and sugar. A simple version would be to have grains in four separate corners of four envelopes. You are then able to identify four envelopes by the position of the sugar, and. as we have said, the grains may be fixed in position with selotape.

As an example of the value of this idea, suppose you were doing an effect which ended in such a way that the spectator would name one of four cards. To cover all, possible contingencies, you had four envelopes each containing one of those cards. Suppose it was necessary that you had all four in one pocket, so now we come to the vital point. The card is named and you produce one envelope—that envelope is supposed to contain their card. Can I ask you quite honestly, how many times have you seen a performer go astray here—and because his index system was unreliable or without safety checks, he got the wrong envelope? You need never have the embarrassment of that situation because you can check that you are right by feel. Do not make the error of supposing that a grain of sugar is too small to bother with; the grain touch reading principle is one of the valuable standbys of mental magic. Moreover, the last example will serve to illustrate my contention that when you are sure a trick will work, you can relax and devote more attention to presentation and less worry to technical points. A Mentalist must irradiate an air of confidence which cannot be achieved when you are not confident. You cannot be too fussy when it comes to getting your tricks in working order—take my advice and always know what you would do if a trick went wrong—before it goes wrong; and better still—work on it to make it so perfect that it can hardly fail. It was my pleasure to witness a failure performed by a well known mentalist and 1 say it was a pleasure because I think that about three people out of many hundreds knew the trick went wrong. When it failed he continued his presentation twisting the result so skillfully that the audience presumed that his climax was the climax intended —such nerve, presence of mind, skill and knowledge make that man one of the greatest in my opinion. The only time you can appreciate his ability, is when you have failed with a trick whilst performing—and know what it is like. Let it be an example not a story.

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

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment