Esr should the performance of mentalism omBhe performance of magic

ere are obvious differences in the traditional approaches to each: the music, props,, sequins, and colorful #esignso

. . Excerpt from .Vibrations interview with RobertL. Blue the magician s props and illusions vs. the more conservative manner and absence of obvious props in the performance of mentalism.


The major difference lies in the mindset of the respective audiences of magic and mentalism. The magician's audience knows they are about to be deceived by manual dexterity or mechanical means. It's a trick, an illusion; the hand is quicker than the eye.

The mentalist, by comparison, encourages his audience to embrace the power of the material and the strength of the premise. In fact, a large percentage of a mentalist's audience want to believe, if they don't already. That is the essense of the differences that exist between the two.

The precursor of this effect originally appeared in my second book. Entitled "Spectramental," it required the use of a cardboard drawer box. I originally obtained mine from a veterinarian who used them as pill boxes. Unfortunately, over the years many magicians and mentalists told me they were having problems finding the proper size box. For the past fourteen years since the effect was first published, my wife and I have searched the globe looking for drawer boxes of the proper size, fashioned from cardboard, wood, plastic, metal or Kryptonite. We found a few, but none were truly suitable.

I believe the principle used in both "Spectramental" and "Boxxed" is original with me. Not the peek, but the use of the rubber bands to provide the motivating force to close the box after obtaining a peek. While checking some information in my second book, I noticed the illustration for "Spectramental." It suddenly occurred to me that the simplest way to obtain the proper size box was to have it custom made. Imagine, it only took fourteen years for the thought to occur to me. I immediately contacted the folks in England who have crafted some of my finest effects over the past few years, and described the kind of box I needed. Within a matter of weeks, the prototype arrived. My search was over.

The new box is constructed in wood. The outer shell is then covered with a black plastic sheathing. At first glance, the boxes look as if they're easy to construct. Believe me, they aren't. They take a steady hand and considerable precision and patience to fabricate. I opted to color the boxes (there are now two boxes involved) black so that it was one could take advantage of a "black art" opportunity that was


not possible with the original cardboard version. After seeing how great the prototype looked, I commissioned my friends to make a matching drawer box, large enough to accommodate the smaller one. A label on the large box identifies it as the property of the Parapsychology Testing Lab, P.O.Box 6023, Carefree, AZ 85377. A label on the smaller box identifies it as E.S.P. Test No. 37. Clearly, the two nested drawer boxes are used for testing paranormal phenomena.


As you will soon discover, "Boxxed" will duplicate many of the feats accomplished by electronic apparatus costing ten times more. In addition, there are no gimmicks. Nothing, absolutely nothing is gaffed in any way. The boxes are both solid and totally opaque. The method that enables you to know exactly what's in the box is accomplished in the most natural fashion imaginable.


The performer asks the spectator to name his favorite four of a kind playing cards. For example, the spectator responds, "Fives." Removing the four fives from the deck, the performer places them in his right hand jacket pocket. The spectator is instructed to reach into the performer's pocket and to remove and remember the suit of any one of the four cards while the performer looks away. The spectator is asked to examine two nesting drawer boxes sitting on the table.

The performer asks the spectator to quarter-fold his selection with the face of the card on the inside, for example, the Five of Clubs. The spectator is then requested to staple the card closed, using a small hand stapler. The folded, stapled card is placed inside the smaller box and returned to its sleeve. Four stout rubber bands are placed around the box, two in either direction, completely securing the box. The performer shows the box to several spectators, turning it in all directions, asking them to confirm that the box is completely secured and totally opaque. The small box is placed on the table. The larger box is now closely inspected by the spectator and the smaller one is nested inside. Four more rubber bands are placed around the larger box. It appears absolutely impossible for anyone to see the contents of the inner box. Even if they could, the suit of the spectator's freely selected card would be completely hidden from view since the card was folded and then stapled.

Without ever approaching the nested boxes, the performer picks up a pad and quickly sketches something. Holding the pad with its back to the audience, the spectator is asked to reveal, for the first time, the suit of his freely selected card.

When the performer turns the pad towards the audience, everyone sees he's drawn a Five of Clubs.

You'll require the two boxes of course. Also four rubber bands (I use Revere Rubber Bands, size: 31 from the Plymouth Rubber Company, Canton, MA). These bands go around the belly of the shell, first, as depicted in the accompanying illustration. The remaining two bands are then placed around the length of the box, securing the drawer in the closed position. You'll also need a deck of cards in which the 13 Diamond cards come from a deck of red backed Bicycle cards manufactured by the U.S. Playing Card Company. The 13 Club cards are obtained from a blue backed deck of Bicycle cards. The 13 Heart cards are taken from a red backed deck of Tally Ho cards. Finally, the 13 Spade cards are removed from a deck of blue backed Tally Ho cards.

Do not box these cards. Shuffle them thoroughly and, after wrapping a rubber band around them, place them in your left hand jacket pocket, with the faces of the cards closest to your body. The only other item you'll need is a hand stapler or if one is not available, a paper clip.

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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