Are You Sitting Comfortably

"For my first presentation I will need quite a few volunteers," says David. Lively music plays and about two dozen people get up from their seats and make their way to the steps at the bottom of the stage where they are met by Babs. She helps arrange them into a line and keeps them there until they are required.

"May I have my first guest please?" The first volunteer, a man, walks up the steps and joins David on stage. The stage lights are turned up and the house lights faded down. The audience sees six chairs arranged in an oblique line near the rear curtain. They are boldly numbered 1 to 6. David calls out the numbers rapidly and out of sequence, as if to confuse him, and suddenly asks the gentleman to name one. He chooses 3.

"Strange," says David, "how everyone always picks 3 when asked for a number." David asks the man to pick up chair number 3, bring it forward to the front of the stage and sit down on it so that he is facing the audience.

"My second guest please." Another man walks forward. David looks at the remaining chairs and calls out their numbers in a different way, "246,654,152,461 etc. Give me a number." The man chooses number 5, picks up the chair, places it next to the first guest's chair and sits down on it.

The process is repeated with several more volunteers until there are five people (four men and one woman) sitting at the very front of the stage and looking out at the audience.

David looks at the only chair that's left, number 2, and says, "Well, I've got no choice, so that must be my chair." He thanks and dismisses the volunteers who are still standing by the steps and reassures them that there will be plenty of other opportunities to take part before the evening is out.

Raj brings over the sixth chair and places it next to the line of seated volunteers. David sits down with them and says, "If you watch closely you are going to see a wonderful show tonight with a huge cast. There are some real characters too who will do some very unusual things." They stare at the audience and the audience stare back. It's a bizarre moment, almost m



surreal, that is held a tad too long for comfort. Everyone, the volunteers, the audience, are waiting for something to happen.

He asks his volunteers, "Are you sitting comfortably? Good—then we'll begin." It's a phrase used on a popular children's television show and gets a smile of recognition from the audience. David gets up from his seat and now there's energy and authority in his voice, "Well ladies and gentlemen in actual fact we have already started. Of course we could not have known who would come forward when we asked for volunteers tonight. Nor could anyone have known in which order they would come up. And I certainly couldn't have known which chairs they would choose. Or could I?"

He points to the volunteer at the left of the row, "This gentleman was my first guest. Which chair did you choose?" It was chair number 3. He asks the man to stand and turn the chair around. He does. On the back of the chair is a large sign, it says, "First Guest."

The second volunteer is asked to stand and turn his chair around. On the back is a sign, "Second Guest." And on the back of the third volunteer's chair is a sign saying, "Third Guest." Somehow David knew exactly who would sit in which chair.

The fourth volunteer is a lady, the only female among the five volunteers. When she turns her chair around she finds a small vase attached to the back. And in the vase is a single red rose which David presents to her with an old fashioned bow as the band plays a romantic tune. Not surprisingly when the last of the volunteers turns his chair around he finds a sign saying "Fifth Guest"

That leaves just one chair, David's. "Of course I didn't have much choice did I? That's the chair they left me. And I said that would be my chair." He turns it around. On the back is a

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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