If you want to do a trick where it must work—or when you happen to be nervous that one method may fail, you may like to try this effect—or principle that I have used. The trick can be a very simple plot; a person thinks of a word and writes it down. From thereon you must be sure to find out what that word is.
Stage one—you hand them any of the popular carbon impression apparatus •o rest on while writing.
Stage two—you tell them to write their word and try to pencil read what > written. If you fail, you tell them to fold the paper in half and in half again.
and then proceed to perform the centre tear. (Step Six; on Billets tells you all about this) which brings you to:—
Stage three, you blunder this and fail to read the billet so you pick up the carbon impression apparatus—and read what they wrote! And when you pick that up and find the carbon paper was missing so it didn't work you calmly take out your Swami (Step One) and . . .
Stage four—pretend to write their word on a card, ask what it was then fill it in!!! If the Swami lead breaks, you go back to magic and learn up ways and means to vanish people—particularly mentalists!
(2) Strange Coincidence
You and the spectator each have a card and a pencil. You suggest that for a change, he must try and read your mind. You pretend to write down a number and ask him to write down what he thinks you thought of—but watch to see what he writes. You fill in the number he has just written, which you see by pencil reading, then say you have written another—actually, as we say, you were writing his first. He writes his next number and you record that as your third and so on. You are in fact one behind him all the way. I credit this effect to Annemann who to my knowledge was the first to publish it in the book mentioned on page 33.
(3) The Total Result
This particular effect I have devised is good for those wishing to use pencil reading without the necessity of staring at the writer all the time. You hand a card to one spectator and tell him to write any number at the top, then to pass it on to the next who adds a number underneath. It is passed like this from four to five spectators and finally handed to one who adds the total. Whilst the card is en tour from spectator to spectator—you have no need to look and when it reaches the final person then you turn and watch for the total to be written. By this time, the audience will have noted that you are not interested in what is being written and will be off guard at the last spectator.
(4) A Debt Repaid
This makes a good item for drawing room work. It is quite easy to do and the plot is strong and amusing.
Hand a spectator the card and pencil, tell him to imagine that you owe him a sum of money—it can be as much as he likes—but since you are not a very rich man, suggest it be under £1,000 pounds. Tell him to write down the amount you owe him so that later you can sign it as an 1.0.U. Note what he writes. Now tell him he is absent minded, and that he has forgotten to allow for some money you paid him back—tell him how much and have that deducted from his bill. Now you tell him to drop the bill in his pocket and come over to you. When he arrives you hold out your hand the fingers holding something which cannot be seen—and ask him how much you owe? He will say two shillings and a halfpenny—whereupon you open your hand and there it is in hard cash—which you give to him for his trouble! The method, in case you can't see it, is very easy. See what he writes in the first place and then mentally subtract from that amount enough to leave 2/0|d. as the amount outstanding. Call out the sum he must subtract and there you are.
(5) The Swami and the Pencil
Using pencil reading in conjunction with a Swami Gimmick you can achieve some incredible effects.
You hold a card up and write something on it—but do not show for a moment. You hand the pencil with another card to a spectator and tell him this is siient thought transmission. You will ask him to think of various places in the world, preferably places he has visited, to watch you and when he sees you hold your hand up—to write down immediately the name of the place he has in mind. You stand still for a moment then hold up your hand, he writes you pencil read then fill in on your card with the Swami Gimmick. You have a miracle on your hands.
PART TWO: LIP READING
Up Reading is the Art of watching a person's lips move when they are talking and b> doing so, telling what they say. You do not hear what is taid. you on!> see.
You know as well as I do that there are hundreds of incapacitated people in the world today, who are able to lip read with a very high degree of skill. I refer to deaf people who have been forced to learn lip reading; and some of these people have reached an amazing standard—up to the point where it is not infrequent for a good lip reader to be able to read from anybody the> meet and at a considerable distance away from the speaker.
In the general run of things, it would not occur to a person gifted with the normal senses to attempt lip reading. However, from the point of view of the Mentalist it can be another means to an end.
You need not be concerned with learning to lip read up to the high standard we have just mentioned—but it is very handy to be able to decipher numbers and simple names. 1 think you will be surprised how much information you can acquire simply by watching two people talk. You have every chance to practice—since there is no shortage of people who talk! Study the way the lips move when the numbers one to nine are spoken and in no time you will be in a position to perform effects achieved by lip reading.
Just one final tip. practice with a friend who acts as the speaker and learn to hp read from full face and profile positions. Most of the time you will be using the profile or side view position. Do not allow your friend to try and help you by slowing up his speech or exaggerating his lip movements. You muNt learn to read the movements as they would be done naturally.
In part One, speaking about pencil reading, we stated that you can make >our job a lot easier by limiting the choice—bringing the odds of success into your favour. The same applies to Lip Reading; by confining the subject vou can anticipate to a large extent what may be said—the Lip Reading then becomes confirmation of your ideas and you are not obliged to guess *ildly. The first effect will elucidate.
TRICKS ACCOMPLISHED BY THE ART OF LIP READING 11) Any Card Called for
Somew here in the vast mass of magic in print, this effect has been published. I read about it quite a long time ago and it was in fact the very thing that inspired me to try lip reading in the first place. I wish I could give full acknowledgement to the original source—but unfortunately I have lost trace of it so I will state that to whosoever invented the idea—I hand my sincere thanks.
effect is this. You have in your hands a pack of cards. A spectator thinks of any card—he does not have to see the pack, whispers his choice lo an°ther spectator so as to confirm his selection then tells you he has made a final decision and has a card in mind. You do a "mental act" on him! After looking for all the world as though you were counting the brain cells in his cranium, you take from the pack one card and hold it high. You put the rest of the pack down. You now say "For the first time will you say what card you chose?" (It is not the first time—it is the second, but obviously you do not say so). Whereupon you show the only card you hold and that is it! Since you can do this anywhere at any time, with a borrowed pack and no preparation at all—we might fairly consider it to be a first class mental effect—what do you think? -
The method as you will have guessed is observation. You wait until the spectator turns to whisper his choice to^the next spectator and at that point you lip read. Really this is quite simple^ To start with you have limited the choice to fifty two, fifty three with the joker and in all you have only to cope with eighteen possibilities; ten numbers, then Jack. Queen or King and four suits—which amount to seventeen, the joker being the last. Remember that people always say the value first—then "of" and end with the suit. When you find someone that says "Diamonds the four" you have met a magician! Fifty per cent of the people will say "The" in front of the value—don't mistake this for three.
An analysis of this effect would not be complete without mention of the means that may be introduced to cut out any number you find difficult to lip read. Suppose you keep slipping on six—just for example, well all you have to do is to take out all the sixes from the deck—which is then handed to the spectator who is asked to look at any card he sees as long as the pack does not appear unusual, it doesn't matter how many duplicates or missing cards you have. There is no justification for having the deck examined.
(2) Reconstructed Evidence
Effect. Two spectators take part. One thinks of a geometric shape and the other thinks of a colour. The shape is then drawn in that colour on a slate. After it has been drawn it is shown to the audience but not to you. The slate is then well cleaned and people are invited to see that no trace of the original drawing remains. You are blindfolded and the slate is given to you. (You may prefer to do away with the blindfold and have it held behind your back). The test now is for you to try and reconstruct the picture that was on the slate—and as you run the fingers over the surface, you get impressions of shape and colour, eventually you name correctly the original design.
The method calls for several delicate steps. Provide two spectators with a slate and a piece of WHITE chalk. Start off by telling one of them to think of a simple geometric design, suggesting in other words the square, triangle, circle, rectangle and so forth—if you say "any" geometrical design you invite something like a "tetrahexagon" whereupon the other fellow has to work out just how many sides that monster should have! Make the suggestion of a simple design in an offhand—almost indifferent manner as though it is of no importance. When the first spectator has thought of one (don't give him much time) tell him to whisper it to the second man who should draw that shape on the slate. This having been done, you now tell the chap with the slate to hand it to number one and then ask him to think of a colour. When he has done this, he whispers that colour to number one, the fellow with the slate who takes up the chalk and writes the name of the colour in the design. You may turn your back Whilst this is done and explain to the audience who are waiting that white chalk is used because you could easily see what colour was "thought of" if you had coloured chalks on the table. By now you know all the facts you have to know—having managed to lip read the design spoken to number two and the colour spoken to number one. You can therefore pay very little attention to the next stage of cleaning the slate and having it examined. It is more convincing if you have the design obliterated first by scribbling with chalk then rubbed out—but you must remember to say that you "feel a lot of scribbling—but there is a distinct design underneath . .
(3) The Whispering Buddha
For this you will require, simply as a matter of presentation, a brass Buddha. You will find the " Made in Birmingham" variety can be purchased in England quite cheaply, or from abroad as "originals" quite expensively! If you cannot get a brass Buddha—you can use any small statue in place.
You must give this effect a great deal of build up. Before, during and after the trick, you do what professional mentalists call "spiel"—that is churn out a load of verbal nonsense that sounds good. Tell the story about the mystery of the Buddha—how people confess their sins and make their wishes to the Buddha—(which is true up to a point)—tell how it always seems as though Buddha sees all, hears all—and says nothing. (By the way—it was a brass Buddha not a brass monkey!!). Now with uncouth wickedness you infer that the Buddha may well talk—but only those who know how, can hear what it says. Suggest an experiment:—
"In a moment I will let you make a wish, no matter how silly this might appear to you—please'do as 1 say. Take the Buddha and hold it in your left hand. It must be the left hand because that is the hand of fate and fortune— the hand which governs your destiny and the hand which is your success in life . . . now 1 want you to tell the Buddha a few facts—but these facts are private, they concern your life and you personally so you need only whisper into one ear of the Buddha. First introduce yourself, tell your name and w hat city of the world you were born in. Then give the Buddha an outline of your personal and occult likings—whisper your favourite colour— tell what you think is your lucky number. Buddha will want to know your occupation, so whisper the name of the work you do and how long you ha\e been doing it. i think Buddha knows enough about you to be able to gi^e a reasonable answer to any wish you have to make—if you have a personal trouble, worry or need—whisper it to the Buddha and we will see if you can ?et an answer".
I- p to now, the inference has been that the Brass Buddha is going to do the talking at the end—well it is! Only it is going to tell you the answers! lou ask to listen to what the Buddha has to say and from the substantial
amount you have learnt about your victim, you dish him up with a very bright future and weave in the facts he has presented as though they were told to you by Buddha. You have been lip reading his talk to the Buddha, and \ know at least something about the spectator. You should know his name, the city where he was born—and therefore his nationality, his favourite colour—his lucky number, his job and how long he has been at it—from which you may judge his position, and you may know his wish or trouble. The latter, being the most he had to say may have been missed—but this makes no difference since a sure-fire prediction covers that angle. Make the answer to his wish or trouble—strictly favourable. Tell him "things are around the corner—he will soon know what you mean"—and be careful that you do not commit yourself to stating any facts.
I have used the word "him" referring to this effect, but it may equally as well be performed on a "her"—in fact most ladies would love it.
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