Blindfold Routine two men from the audience have volunteered and david is giving them their instructions. "I would like you to go into the audience and collect some items such as credit cards, driving licences, receipts, souvenirs and photographs. Particularly a few photographs. Please don't bring any objects that can be easily identified by touch such as coins, keys or combs."
"But first I will ask you to blindfold me. Please take a look at the items on the table." They do and are invited to examine a selection of materials that will be used to blindfold David. One of the men scrutinises a roll of white adhesive tape. While the other looks closely at a blindfold, turning it over in his hands. It is composed of three thicknesses of cloth and impossible to see through. "Did you notice he checked both sides?" says David, "In case there is a hole on one side and not the other!" Sometimes the man will actually check both sides! Finally, David says, "These are the items that I've brought along but if you would like to use anything else, such as scarves, ties etc, then please do so. I make absolutely no restrictions, the object is to make quite sure I cannot see."
Happy with the various items the volunteers begin the blindfolding. The man with the adhesive tape is asked to tear off strips and place them across David's eyes, criss-crossing the tape until he is sure that he cannot see. No restrictions are made; the man can arrange the tape however he wishes. "Place the tape anywhere you like and make sure there are no holes in the centre, above, underneath or around the sides. Once you are satisfied, and not until then, will you (the second man) put the blindfold on me and tie it securely."
The taping process looks strange and always gets a laugh, giving David the opportunity to make some remarks, "He's got a strong left thumb. He's just pushed my eyeball to the back of my head;" W7hen the taping is finished David turns around to face the audience. It's the first time that everyone gets a chance to appreciate the bizarre nature of the blindfold. David looks quite a sight, the man in the sticky-tape mask! The second man places the blindfold over David's eyes and ties it in place. Finally a folded scarf is fastened over everything, forming a second impenetrable blindfold. Tape, blindfold and scarf, it seems impossible that anyone could see through any one of them, certainly not all.
At this point the two men collect a variety of objects from the audience. Soft music plays as they go about their collecting and David talks about the kind of objects they might find. They place them on a table that stands just behind him and are asked to be careful to keep any printed items such as business cards, and especially photographs, facedown.
David is now standing slightly forward and to one side of the table speaking into the stand microphone. He asks one of the men to hand him an object and then stand well back. He takes it and holds it in one outstretched hand while the other is run to and fro above it in a scanning action.
After a moment, David says, "This is a business card. If you've handed this up, would you let me know?" A man in the audience acknowledges it is his.
"A little louder, I need to know where you are."
"Here," shouts the man. David turns in his direction.
"It's a business card and it has a logo on it, in the shape of a bird. Is that right?"
"But the bird is inside some kind of design. Is it a circle?"
"Yes," says the man.
"Either the audience is stunned with amazement or they have all gone home," says David. The audience is still there, we can hear them laughing.
"Is it your business card?"
"Something to do with stock broking?"
"You're an advisor."
"Yes." Now there's even more applause as the details get more personal moving from the object to the owner.
David moves the card from one hand to the other and says, "There must be a phone number somewhere on here. Ah yes, I think it is 437 8904."
"Yes." The revelation gets an even bigger round of applause.
"Have we ever met before Mr Norris?"
"No," says Mr Norris, which gets another laugh from the audience.
"Just a lucky guess," says David then adds, "Edward Norris is it?" Another yes and more applause.
He returns the business card to one of the men and asks for another object. It's a piece of paper. He holds it up so the audience can see it. The man is asked to step back again, as David explains, half jokingly, "Sometimes people think he might be whispering to me!" David then turns his attention to the object. "There's a colour to the paper. A greenish blue. Could you call out if this is yours?" A woman in the third row says it is hers.
"You only got this yesterday. Is that right?"
"Yes," says the lady.
"It's the receipt for laundry, isn't it?"
"Is there any reference number on it?" The lady says she doesn't know. "Well when you get it back check. It's 678932." He hands the ticket to one of the men who seeing that the number is correct, nods and cues the audience's applause.
David asks for another object. He'd specifically mentioned that they shouldn't collect anything that would be easy to identify by touch but, as is often the case, a lipstick is handed to him.
"I did say not to hand me anything too easy. This is a lipstick. Who does it belong to?" A woman in the audience claims it as hers. David holds the lipstick in one hand and scans it with the other.
"It's a gold colour."
"And it's been used up about three quarters of the way." The owner laughs, David is right once again and the audience applaud.
"It's a Revlon 84. Is that right?" More applause and the lipstick is handed back to one of the gentlemen.
"Some people," says David, "still think I can somehow see through all this." He indicates one of the men next to him and calls for another scarf. "Hold it up. Make sure you can't see through it. Now drape it over my head, the microphone, everything." The man does as instructed, completely enclosing David in the impromptu hood.
He calls for the next object. It is a credit card and he holds it by the edge. "As you know credit cards have raised numerals. Some people think you can feel the numbers embossed on it like Braille. You can't. Try it. By the way, who does this belong to?" A man in the audience calls out. David hovers his free hand above the card but never touches it. "Are the last four numbers 3487?"
"Well check it when you get it back. Alright Richard?" The man laughs.
"That's funny. I always call everybody Richard. I don't usually call them Mr Baker. By the way what's your name?"
"Richard Baker," says the volunteer and he's the first to applaud. David adds, "Don't forget to renew your card next March!"
The next item is a photograph. David holds it between his fingertips, turning it around and around but never towards him. "I've asked for a photograph, it's been given it to me
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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.