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The performer shows five E.S.P. design cards, one at a time. The images are a circle, a plus sign, 3 wavy lines, a square and a star. Each is boldly printed on one side while the reverse side of each card is blank. After mixing and cutting the packet, the mentalist asks a spectator to move one card at a time from the top of the packet to the bottom as often as he wishes while the performer turns his head away. The packet of cards is handed to the spectator and the mentalist looks away as the cards are "ducked."
When the spectator has indicated that he's finished the task, the performer turns and requests the spectator to look at and remember the identity of the E.S.P. design on the top card of the packet and then to insert the card among the other face down cards. The spectator is asked to place the face down packet on the performer's outstretched left hand. Removing a handkerchief from his breast pocket, the mentalist proceeds to wrap the packet of five cards inside the handkerchief and place it between the palms of the spectator's hands.
The performer removes a piece of 3" x 5" white cardboard from his pocket and asks the spectator to stare at the center of the card. The spectator is requested to imagine that his eyes are burning an image of the E.S.P. design he's concentrating upon on the surface of the board just like a laser. Removing a marking pen from his pocket, the performer states that he'll try to develop the spectator's thought and proceeds to brush the point of the red marker rapidly across the surface of the card. Mysteriously, the image of an E.S.P. design appears in WHITE against the red background. The spectator is asked to confirm that the image that has appeared is truly the design upon which he was concentrating. The spectator agrees that it's his design.
You'll need five (5) pieces of white cardboard measuring 3" wide x 5" deep. Also needed is a set of "Pentech ERASABLES." Eight broad line erasable markers manufactured by Pentech International, Inc., Edison, N.J. 08817. (Fisher-Price also manufactures a quality set of erasable markers. They are available at "Toys
R Us" stores). Seven of the markers are brilliant watercolors. One is a white liquid eraser. You'll only use two of the markers: The red marker and the white liquid eraser marker. The white marker is normally used to erase the colored markers. However, In this effect you do just the opposite.
You'll also need a set of five E.S.P. design cards with blank backs. If you can't find the ones made by Piatnik (Austria) at your local magic shop, glue blank faced cards to the backs of the regular E.S.P. design cards that contain playing card backs. Arrange the cards in the usual cyclical order of circle (made with one line), plus sign (made with two lines), wavy lines (three of them), square (four lines), and star (five lines). The final piece of equipment can be found at most tuxedo rental stores. It's a red silk handkerchief (about 16" square) that's usually sold for use with tuxedos. The handkerchiefs come in a wide variety of colors, however, for our purposes buy a bright red one. Though the material is silk or a blend, it's slightly heavier than the ones used by magicians.
Place the red handkerchief in your jacket breast pocket. On the five pieces of cardboard, draw a different E.S.P. design (about 3" high) on each using the white liquid eraser marking pen. Since the ink is invisible when it dries, you won't be able to see it. To keep track of the cards, in the lower right hand corner draw a very small white phano (grease) pencil duplicate of the design you just drew in invisible ink. At a distance of a few feet no one will be able to see it but you. Now, arrange the five cards as follows: place the circle and the plus sign in your left hand inside jacket pocket with the circle farthest from your body. In your right hand inside jacket pocket, place the wavy lines and the square with the wavy lines farthest from your body. In your right hand outside jacket pocket, place the star. Remember the order and in which pocket you placed each design. Place the red marker in your left hand jacket pocket with the five E.S.P. design cards and you're ready to go.
Follow the presentation as described above until you're ready to mix the five cards. Execute a "Charlier Shuffle" (see Appendix II) and cut which doesn't in anyway change the original cyclical order. After the spectator has finished the ducking procedure, turn and request that he look at and remember the design on the top card of the packet. Since the backs are blank, the thought of marked cards is eliminated. Have him sandwich the card containing his chosen design among the remaining four cards.
At this point, if you learn the identity of the bottom card of the packet, you'll immediately know the identity of the design the spectator is concentrating upon (the next design in the cyclical order). In other words, if you see the square on the bottom card, the spectator's design will be the star. If you spot the star, then you know the spectator's design is the circle and so on. All that remains is to get the necessary information.
After the spectator places the face down packet on your left hand, remove the red hanky from your breast pocket and drape it over the cards. Grasp the packet through the silk at the end nearest you. Allow the packet to hang down perpendicular to the floor. Immediately, take your left hand from under the handkerchief and extend it to the spectator with your palm up as you instruct the spectator to extend his left hand with the palm up. If you slightly tilt the packet of cards, the image on the bottom card of the packet will be clearly visible through the cloth. One quick glance is all it takes. Immediately move the packet of cards beneath the handkerchief away from you across the palm of the left hand until its bottom edge is even with the edge of the left hand (between the thumb and first finger). Fold the packet (and silk) towards yourself and repeat the action so that the handkerchief is wrapped around the packet of cards a second time. After the second fold, the hank will be totally opaque. Place the wrapped packet of cards on the spectator's outstretched left hand and have him cover it with his right hand.
Since you now know which design the spectator is concentrating upon (the design which follows the design you saw through the cloth) you automatically know which piece of cardboard to remove. Take out the red marking pen and remove the cap. After the spectator has mimed "Lasering" the image of his chosen E.S.P. design on the piece of cardboard, begin rapidly brushing the tip of the marker back and forth across the card (starting near the top) painting a solid red background. When the red begins to cover your invisible ink image, the design will appear in white against the red background. Your audience will get a kick out of the mysterious appearance of the design. Naturally, the spectator will confirm that the design is the one he's been concentrating upon. Retrieve the wrapped packet and drop in your pocket or toss into your case.
"Laser Gazer" is a strong stage effect, yet simple to execute. Be sure you practice the presentation until you've got it down pat.
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