It Isnt Mind Confcjl

WHEN THIS ROUTINE first appeared in Club 71, it provoked more comments and letters than any trick Fve published before or since. In it I developed a way to accderatr the performance of [he centuries-old matrix divination, popularized and refined in the twentieth century by such minds as Al Baker. Louis S. Histed and Paul Fox. to name only a few. Indeed, I utilize much of their thinking in my treatment. (For an excellent overview of this trick, see Peter Tappans 1986 book on the subject, fix Irnpostress Princess)

Originally I allied this "It Must be Mind Control/' However, as the routine developed over the years. I found the very nature of the effcct had changed. Rather than a demonstration of the performers superior powers, there was now the feeling of an experiment in which the performer and his associates in the audience were together giving a successful demonstration of mind-to-mind communication. With this change in presentation came the new tide above.

Fve rewritten this routine to emphasize the relationships that evolve with the participants and how a hesirant and sincere attitude on the part of the performer creates a more believable impression & well a* a more dramatic one.

EFFECT: llie performer invites the audience to participate in an experiment. "Why this works I do not fully understand It may be caused by non-verbal cues, by intuition or by some force that eludes >ne."

Theater OP tup. MMD .

Saying this, he introduces a dcck of cards .and shuffles it. He then distributes die cards to five persons. .Each Ls asked to bum one card in iiis group into his memory. Alter this is done, the cards are collected

The performer now calls our fifteen to twenty random cards. Three persons who heard their card mentioned are invited fonvard. Ihe performer and these three helpers then work together to transmit to him die coiorvstiit and value of their mental selections.

The remaining persons whose cards were not called ire next asked to stand. Without any questions or contact, the performer proceeds to reveal the cards they arc thinking of.

Method and presentation: The main principle i.s a five-by-five card matrix. Ilia: is, five known aitxls will be distributed to five different persons. Figure 1 displays the five groups of cards. Each column represents a set ofairds.

/---- Comtruvma* Set One (sever, of hearts, queen of hearts, king of spades, four of hearts, three of dubs) is given to Spectator One. Scz Two goes to Spectator Two, crc.

Ihis sequence of twenty-five cards must also be arranged on top of your deck. From top to face the cards run:

Mark rhe back of every filth card

CAmtrsfwrted and inner right corners.

I use a memorized sequence when 1 perform this routine, bur I assume many readers will prefer to use a crib rather dian memory, so I will describe the handing with this in mind.

Figure 1 shows rhe crib in the form of a blank-faced playing card. The back of dlis card should have a back matching your deck. You can erase the ink from an ace or use rhe white space on a two or four. Also draw a horizontal line to separate the two List rows from the firs: three. Finally, cut a semicircle from the card at the center of die right side, and corner short tw o diagonally opposite comers. You will use dlis carc as both a locator card and a ^romprer. Place it directly under your twenty-fivc-card stack, making it twenty-sixth from the top.

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I suggest thar you also make a 2 second crib, diis one on a prepared, thumb tip (Figure 2), To make this, cover part of die tip with skin-col- . ortxl adhesive tape and write die card matrix on rhc tape.

You must next establish a fixed pattern for distributing the cards. 1 visualize a five spot on a die. The { person in the center is Spectator Five and those around him are Spectators One, Two, lliree and Four> working clockwise from the Jar left (Figure 3). When persons raise their hands or stand, you will immediately know their number by their location in the audicncc.

With this preparation understood, we can move on to the performance and presentation. Begin by bringing out the deck and, as you introduce the experiment, hold it face up and casually overhand shui^e the bottom twenty or .so cards without disnirbing your top stock.

Walk up to someone in the ccntcr section (this is the center spot on my mental die) and fan die deck, keeping the stacked portion in a block at the back. What follows is important. The audience must get the idea that everything is unprepared and the selections are random.

"Willyou please pull out a few cards, lake them from anywhere, lake a few more. "Sav this in a way that convevs to everyone the fairness of die selections.

Close the fan and take the deck into left-hand dealing position. Then riffle your left thumb down to the short card and, with your right hand, lift off die top twenty-six-card stock.

As you start to walk farther into che audience, hand all the cards in your left hand to the central person and say, "Take some more and mix them up tor me." This person now has twenty-seven cards.

Move to the left side of the audience, singling out someone there. This is Spectator One in your mental reference. Casually spread off the top five cards (the pencil dots help you do this) and say, u Will you take afiw?" He will take several from the five you offer him. As you move on say. "Here, take a few more, "and hand him die cards that remain in Set One.

These first two distributions have established the apparent free and random selection of cards. Now as you move quickly about, you spread die cards, find the next set of five and casually hand it to Spectator Iwo. Repeat this procedure with Spectators Three and Four.

Now return to the center helper, Spectator Five, and ask him, 44Will you pUasehelpmeoutandmixthe&?PY^ his twenty-seven-card packet, drop your six cards unto it and hand him the top five. • * •Everyone who has cards\ mix them up."

IHace deck aside or in your pocket. The current situation is this: The audience believes you have distributed all of die-cards in a totally fair and random way. Tn fact each person possesses five cards, all known to you. And to the audience, the experiment has yet to begin.

Instructions in effects of diis sort are particularly important. It is my experience that some people forget their cards or, for some reason, think of one they don t have. Your instructions must strive to eliminate such problems.

"Will the persons who have cards spread them with tf:efaces iotoardyou. Now select one. Dont clyangeyour mind. This is important. Say it oixr and over. Burn it into your mind. This is imperative for our experiment.91

Now quickly collect the cards and casually add them to the rest of the pack, which you retrieve from your pocket or table, and immediately hand the entire deck out for shuffling. When you receive the deck back, riffle ;o the short card and cut it to the tace.

Please help me in this experiment. I will randomly call off about twenty or so cards. I will say their names clearly If you war your card think, 'That is it.' But don't let a*ryone blow. Please concentrate.n

\ou now deal seconds and miscall the cards. Don t panid This second dcaJ is simple of the semicircular notch you haw cut from die crib card. Just hold the deck, face toward you, in left-hand dealing grip, and use your


rjght thuinbtip to'contact the card sccond from the Face, which is exposed by the notch {Figure 4}. As you deal, read across die first three rows calling out the fifteen cards.i.n them: seven of hearts, lour of spades, (wo of diamonds., .nine of diamonds. You am add three or four cards not included in the listed twenty-five to increase the number of cards called. I add four such the roll call.. " .

Another way of calling the cards is to fan die deck and pull cards our randondy, using rhe crib card to cue your miscalls. Still another way is nor to use a prompter card at all, but read die cards off die prepared thumb rip.

Of course, if youve memorized the sequence, you done need a crib or rhe cards. You can ga7c into the audience and oil! out seemly random cards that you pretend to deal from an invisible deck This is my preference. uNow> if you have heard your tard do me a favor and raise your harut" At this point one of three things will occur

2] All five persons raise their hands.

In rhe first instance—the best possible situation, but also the most improbable—you move immediately to the second phase of the revelations, which we will discuss shortly.

In the second and diird instances, you proceed as follows: Assume two persons raise dieir hands: Spectators One and Five. Invite them to step forward and explain that together you are going to try ro communicate discrete information. The;/ will be the senders and you the receiver.

Turning to Spectator Five, say "Let's try to send just the color of the card ('.loseyour eyes. I will hold your wrist. Relax. Good. It is red or black red or black?

I seme black!" If vou check Set Five on the crib you will find rh3t two of the » *

three possible cards, those cards called from the firsr three rows, arc black-) If she shakes her head no. you immediately know her card is the only red one, rhe nine of diamonds. But you don't reveal diis ver. Instead, assume the demeanor of a hopeful but uncertain receiver.

"La's try rhis again. It's my fault. "Take a deep breath. "The color is red Think. Is it a sharp diamond or a pulsating heart " Pause. "A heart!" Si he nods; her eves still closed.

"hi either a picture card or a number card. Think. "Hes.rare. "It is a num-

i ber card "She nods. You next call out the numbers from one through ten. Pause. "It is a six—no. its a nine—a nine of diamonds!"The spectator sighs with relief and smiles. The audience applauds. OF THE MítVD

Properly done, this isa magnetizing dcmonstratbn. The woman, "T k plai& 10 all, is trying .to communicate the information. The performer is in eager, receiver. Any wrong answer—and there will be only one at most—adds to the drama. . .

The second person comes forward. "Lets try this without touching: I mil try to read your eyes. "(This is Spectator One,). "The color is either red or black The color is red or black. It is red/"

"Yes/* she says. You go 011 to read her thoughts as if they are manifested through her eyes. Assume you miss: You say picture card, but its a number.. You .shake it off, breathe deeply and go on to identify the seven of hearts.

This may not seem likr much on the cold page, but the spectators' emotions arc apparent ro the audience, and the slow bir-by-bit revelation of unknown information, apparently using contact telepathy and eye movement, seems totally believable and entertaining. Once again, it s important to stress dial the performer is not smug or all knowing.

We now come to Phase Two of the revelations. Let's say there are three spectators, as in our previous example., who have not stood up. The audience does not know how many persons are left.

uLet's try some of the people who have a card locked in their minds, but did nor hear it called. Lets do all those with black cards first. Will you please standV

Assume Spectator Two stands. You quickly say "Lets do everyone who is left. £z*eryone who has a discrete card burned in his memory sxand. ''Spectators Three and Four join Spectator Two.

You now know the name of the card each person is thinking of. No questions arc needed. How an this be?

If you look at the crib card, you will see that each of die dure remaining persons is chinking of one of two cards. Which one? This was determined by the initial request for those with black cards to stand. In each possible pair, one card is black, die other red.

If you have not already done so, slip on your thumb-tip crib now, so diat you can set aside the deck and continue to work without props. You have this second crib just in case you need a prompter.

Originally, 1 used to call off all the cards quickly, but I've changed this to stay in charactcr for this routine.

V will attempt to sense the three atrds locked in your minds aver rins distance and without contact. If I correctly callyour card, drmxsay a thing orgive any sign. After I attempt to discover all three cards, I will repeat them, then Til ask you to sit down when I clap my hands. If I haven t called rhe card in your mind, remain standing when I clap my haruls. "

Rakrh- Richardson •

You now look at Spectator Two- 7 if jink your card is nd; a red diamond It is a-number card. It is a six— no, the five of diamonds. *

Go rhmugh die >ame process with each .of the others. You look at the person, establish a relationship, then make the revelations. The participants should bç impassive—the audience doesn't know ifyou are successful or not.

You now point to each person as you call his or her card with confidence; Clap your hands:'The participants sit down—and the applause follows.

A last observation: One virtue of using memory over the crib appmach is that you actually have to think about the options, and this effort Ls apparent, which adds to the credibility of the experiment. Also, without a crib, you can perform an impressive feat with any deck and two minutes preparation.

Summer 1987

ow would you fed if I asked you to think of any word and, by some inexplicable power, I was able to reveal the word only you could know?

Wouldn't this be a chilling experience?

This is rhe objective of each one of the three effects in this chapter. Of course, what the participant reports and what actually occurs in these experiments may differ.

There are clearly two parts to these mind-reading feats: first > a surreptitious way to get rhe needed information; and second, a process of revealing it in a believable and memorable manner.

The demonstrations in this chapter appear impromptu. There are no special props or complicated instructions to follow

There is no effect stronger than reading a persons mind. The experience can be many rimes more breathtaking dian the visual sensation any-magic trick can arouse.

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