Christmas Card Prediction

Any magicians tuning in to see if David lived up to his reputation could not fail to be baffled by David's Christmas Card Prediction. It is beautifully constructed and awesomely baffling. It begins with the guests sitting on the Chesterfield sofas arranged either side of a low table. David places a large Chinese bowl onto the table. Inside are dozens of Christmas cards in envelopes and he asks each guest to reach in and take one.

"I'm not going to tell you what they are at this moment. What I would like you to do though is to sign them please. Put your name across the envelope. Make sure we can't change them for any other card." The guests sign their names across their chosen envelopes.

"The contents of those envelopes are very special indeed and we'll be opening them in part two of the show in which nothing is impossible." This is delivered as an end line and the show breaks for commercials.

When we return David and the guests are still at the table. No mention is made of the envelopes. Instead there is some chat about party stunts and David demonstrates one of his, the cigarette routine which he used to perform. He magically produces numerous cigarettes and drops them into a shallow glass bowl. Then he takes off his jacket, in case anyone thinks the cigarettes are coming from his sleeves, and repeats the routine. A touch of TV trickery is used to enhance the effect. Rather than repeat the routine in real time, the picture speeds up with David saying, "Hold on to your seats, we're speeding up. Faster and Faster." Through the magic of the edit suite the cigarettes appear at lightning speed. Gradually the videotape slows down to a normal pace and David finishes with the comedy sequence he used in his act in which the cigarettes are magically replaced by flowers that pop into view at his fingertips.

The guests are then invited to watch a laser disc of a recent performance. It's a tape of him performing his Matchmaker routine. We come out of that to applause from the guests and it's time to return to the signed envelopes, which are still on the table in front of them. "I'm sure you've been wondering why I've asked you to take these envelopes," says David. "Would you like to open them now?"

Each envelope contains a special Christmas card. There's a window in the front of the cards and a photo of a child can be seen through it. David explains that each of the children is currently in hospital. "Would you like to read out the names." The guests oblige. There is six year old John, eight year old Ruth, Mark aged twelve and Nicola only three and a half.

"In a moment I will tell you what we are going to do to surprise these children for Christmas. The four children who are watching tonight, you are going to have a special surprise after the break. For you and for my very talented guests here, nothing is impossible." And with that tantalising promise we cut to a commercial break.

Breaking the routine down into these bite size segments is very effective. Typically for David, the audience have no idea where this is leading. It's Christmas, it's something to do with children in hospital. Who wouldn't want to find out more?

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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