to one number and says "what is this added to this?" and points to another. Then he goes on "and multiply this by this—subtract this from this, add up these three", etc., etc.
Both performer and assistant have memorised the complete order of numbers to be used for the Act. When the performer points to a number —it is the number pre-arranged in the mental system and the assistant calls it out. It is literally impossible to make a mistake and since the assistant does not have to see the board—he should sit with his back to it and make no effort to turn during the performance.
As a very good climax to this effect you can have a spectator come up to the blackboard and write down two rows of figures and then add them up. As soon as the total is seen by you—you declare to the audience: "And now Ladies and Gentlemen, we will conclude with the
" " test—a very difficult feat where my partner will try and tell you the total of this sum written by the spectator. Whatever name you call the test—tells your assistant the total on the blackboard.
(4) Corinda's "Fourteenth Book Test". This was an effect that I used to use and it went over very well. It is necessary for both performers to know the Mnemonic Number System—and when you get a team working on a double mental act, it certainly pays in many ways to learn this system.
One of the team, called "the medium" leaves the room. The audience decide on a word in any book, note the page number and the line and then the position of the word in that line. Your medium now comes in and picks up the book and locates the chosen word. It is done by a code method. When the medium comes in, you turn to the spectator that chose the word and say "now we will not mention the word—but suppose it was "dog"—imagine you are writing that word on a blackboard". The word "DOG" keys your assistant—page 18. Your medium turns to page 18 and then appears to have some difficulty. You turn to the spectator again and say, "your conscious mind is confusing the picture—I want you to rub out the imaginary word and write something else like Bat or just a letter like K" . . . Now you have coded the line number (Bat equals 28) and the position of the chosen word in the line (K equals 3). Because the conversation is so natural—devoid of such usual classics as "Please now this what is it" (!) there is never a suspicion that a code system has been used.
Another effect I have used with this system. Have about ten words thought of by the audience whilst your medium is outside. Then have one of them chosen. (They should be written in a long list). Suppose the fifth word down the list is selected, just before you leave the room by another door—or go and stand quietly in the corner, say "I'll just add a couple more to make it difficult"—and add any two words to the bottom of the list—but the very last word starts with the same letter that indicates the chosen word from the top of the list. For five you may use "f" or "q" so you add something like "fig" or "quality" to the bottom of the list.
It may then be taken a step in advance of this by having very many words written on a list and still doing it. Several words can be chosen and as long as you and your assistant both know the key word you have a good effect on your hands. Remember that not a word is said or a sign given and that you can be out of the room. If you cannot leave the room—there is nothing to stop you sending the list out to the medium.
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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