THIS IS ONE OF THE EFFECTS THAT I FEATURE IN MY ACT. ONE THAT HAS CONSISTENTLY EARNED ME MORE STANDING OVATIONS THAN ANY OTHER EFFECT I PERFORM! COMPLETE SATISFACTION OR YOUR MONEY BACK!
If you thought the orginal two book version of Flashback was great, wait until you see the ultimate version! Included are four (4) new and examinable paperback novels. Plus a copy of an unprepared Webster's Dictionary. And a fifth paperback designed exclusively to perform the "Hoy Book Test" without having to miscall the selected page number.
Here's a brief description of some of the incredible effects you'll be able to perform: • A spectator selects and concentrates on the first word on any page in any of the five paperbacks provided. Instantly the performer can reveal the word the spectator is thinking of. • The spectator can point to any word in a paragraph on the page selected and you can proceed to discern it. • The spectator concentrates on a name elsewhere on the page and you can immediately reveal it. • The spectator merely thinks of a word on the next line and you've predicted its location in an unprepared dictionary. • You and the spectator freely select identical words in each others book. • Three spectators each think of a word in their freely selected book and you instantly reveal all three words. • Plus, the greatest version ever of the Hoy Book Test, without having to miscall the selected page. In addition, you reveal the spectator's thoughts...a full paragraph, not just a single word or two.
Naturally you wouldn't do all of the above effects in a single performance, but, you could. And there's more. Those of you who own the original "Flashback" will appreciate the fact that the word selected in the new Ultimate Flashback books consists of five letters or more. No sweating over the discernment of a two or three letter word. And to top it off, you receive comprehensive instructions as only Larry Becker can draft them, right down to the very last detail. Best of all, "Ultimate Flashback" is so easy to perform you can literally concentrate 100% of your efforts on the presentation. Without question, there's no finer word and book test anywhere. The late T. A. Waters wrote: "Congratulations on a great product!" This is the book test all the pros are using. Direct! Clean! No adding numbers! No fishing! Simply great! Including Larry's method on how to change covers on paperback books. Plus expanded instructions and new routines including the one Larry uses. Twenty-eight pages in all. This is the standing ovation closer for Larry's act.
Order now! Immediate delivery! Send check or money-order in the amount of $85.00 postpaid via Priority Mail: Larry Becker • P.O. Box 6023 • Carefree, AZ 85377. Visa and Mastercard accepted. Overseas, add $18.00 for airmail postage (total: $103.00).
Ever since I created "Flashback," countless mentalists and magicians have told me it's without a doubt the fastest, simplest and most direct of all book tests. This "Ultimate" version includes all of the effects possible with the original Flashback plus the vastly expanded routines possible with the new version. The "Ultimate Flashback" includes four examinable paperback novels with all-new covers, a dictionary and a fifth book designed to perform an improved version of the Hoy Book Test, called "Hoy Plus." Here's a rundown on some of the effects you'll be able to accomplish with this, the "last word in book tests."
The spectator selects and concentrates on the first word on any page in the book of his choice and you immediately reveal the word. He can then point to any word in the next paragraph and you immediately reveal it. Using the "Evelyn Woods scanning procedure", the spectator concentrates on a proper noun in a line elsewhere on the page and you know what it is. He then thinks of any word on the next line and you've predicted it's location in an unprepared dictionary. You and the spectator freely select the same word from each others book. Three people each think of a word in the book of their choice and you correctly identify each word. All that, plus being able to perform the original Hoy Book Test without miscalling the page number. Naturally, you wouldn't do all of the above in a single performance, however it demonstrates the extensive variety of effects possible with "Ultimate Flashback." I'm sure the effect will be around for awhile, so if you like what you read, be sure to obtain a set from me or your favorite magic dealer.
The original Flashback enabled a mentalist to hand out two gaffed paperbacks for examination. Then, without any counting, sleight of hand, the use of prompters, or other devices, the performer was able to immediately reveal the first word of the top line on any page in the book freely and fairly selected by the spectator. The method was deceptively simple and beautifully hidden. It was light years ahead of the original idea pioneered by Orville Meyer and others which involved writing the first word on every left hand page, in the upper right hand corner of each facing page. Naturally, the book could not be examined, but it did permit the performer to riffle the pages of the book, stopping wherever directed by the spectator. As the spectator looks at and memorizes the first word on the top line of the page facing him, the performer simultaneously "peeks" at the same word written in the upper right hand corner of the facing page. For the sake of completeness, the same principle has been varied to include writing page numbers that appear at the bottom of each page, in the upper right hand corner. This enabled the performer to know which page a spectator is looking at in his book. Routines have also been devised to write in the page, column and line number in a dictionary where the peeked at word can be located.
My improvement was to have paperback novels printed with the prompter word actually set in type, second from the end on the top line of the page opposite to the one looked at by the spectator. This enabled the performer to initially hand the book(s) out for a quick examination. The prompter word was so well hidden, no one ever discovered the secret even while examining the book from cover-to-cover. Two identical books with different covers were included when the effect was originally marketed many years ago. This greatly improved "Mother of all book tests" is awesome, with several routines and almost unlimited potential. Naturally, I had to expand the gaffing to increase the number of effects possible. Even though each and every page is now "gimmicked," it's still possible to have four of the five books casually examined, especially if you use the following procedure.
Let's assume that you've handed out three of the four examinable books. (The only book I wouldn't advise handing out is the one used to perform "Hoy Plus"). You invite the spectators to examine the books as follows. "Please quickly scan these paperback novels from cover-to-cover and check the first two or three words on every page. Make sure they're all different from one another, because it's one of those words we'll be dealing with."
As you can see, the patter focuses the spectator's attention on the first few words on every page. A quick riffle-scan of the books will reveal that the first words on every page are different. Incidentally, unlike the original Flashback, the first word on every page of the new version now contains five or more letters. No more will you possibly have to reveal a two or three letter word. If you utilize this examination procedure to preface any combination of effects possible with "Ultimate Flashback," you'll immediately take the "heat" off the books. Now, proceed to have one of the spectators freely select any page as you riffle the pages of his book. Ask him to concentrate on the first word of text on the page he has selected (obtain your "peek") and immediately reveal the word of which he's thinking.
Where are all the gaffs?
In addition to the "prompter" word that reveals the first word on the page the spectator is looking at, the next paragraph is also gimmicked. Many years ago, U.F. Grant released a "Readers Digest" book test that utilized a "slip-in" printed page on which the same paragraph had been repeated ad infinitum. The first letter in each word of this paragraph was arranged alphabetically. In short, the first word began with an "A," the second word with a "b," the third with a "c" and so on. I believe there were twenty-five words in the paragraph.
Using a "false-start" procedure that I'll explain later, the performer was able to zero in on any word in the paragraph the spectator mentally selected. Unfortunately, while the idea had some merit, the gaffing stood out like a sore thumb, especially the word "x-ray." It was as blatantly obvious as a neon sign. While discussing the possibility of including this type of paragraph with Lee Earle, Lee suggested burying the principle one layer deeper by using every other letter in the alphabet to construct the wording of the paragraph. Take a look at the paragraph I subsequently created. While the wording is little "stiff," it'll easily pass a casual glance during the selection process since the spectator will be busy focusing on only one word in the paragraph.
It should also be noted that this paragraph does not appear in exactly the same position on each left hand page since the first word on the page may or may not be the start of a paragraph. In addition, the paragraph has been arranged into four cyclical paragraphs and alternated every other page so that you will not see an exact repeat of the paragraph until nine numbered pages have gone by. Believe me, this is a diabolical arrangement, from the alternate letter concept to the cyclical paragraphs that help hide the principal in play. Here's the gaffed paragraph plus the cyclical variations :
"Apparently, Congressman Edwards generated immense kickbacks. Malicious opposition quickly silenced undesirable witnesses. Blindly defiant family hysteria justified leniency. Nobody predicted retribution towards victims."
"Nobody predicted retribution towards victims. Apparently Congressman Edwards generated immense kickbacks. Malicious opposition quickly silenced undesirable witnesses. Blindly defiant family hysteria justified leniency."
"Blindly defiant family hysteria justified leniency. Nobody predicted retribution towards victims. Apparently Congressman Edwards generated immense kickbacks. Malicious opposition quickly silenced undesirable witnesses."
Blindly defiant family hysteria justified leniency. Nobody predicted retribution towards victims. Apparently Congressman Edwards generated immense kickbacks."
Additional gimmicking was also done to the second and third lines from the bottom of both the left and right hand pages. The third line from the bottom of the left hand page includes the name, "Mr. Brewster." The third line from the bottom of the right hand page includes the name, "Robert." The second line from the bottom of each facing page contains only one ""long" word consisting of more than four letters. For example, the second line from the bottom of the left hand page includes the word, "everything" and the second line from the bottom of the right hand page includes, "lumberjack."
The fifth book is gaffed to force two page numbers (pages 92 and 93). While it's possible to have the book examined using the first word subtlety detailed earlier, I don't recommend it. I usually use the "Hoy Plus" book (it's aptly titled, "Ultimate Flashback") to demonstrate how I want the spectators to examine their books. In other words, I hand out all five books. Then, before I say anything about examining the books, I retrieve the "Hoy Plus" book to demonstrate with, then casually use it to perform the "coincidence" effect that I'll shortly explain. Later, I can use it to force a page in an unprepared paperback in similar fashion to the Hoy Book Test, but with the added advantage of not having to "miscall" the page number of the freely selected page.
As you can see, I have not compromised the examination feature of the original "Flashback." What I have done is to vastly increase the versatility of the books and provide additional features that were not possible with the original version.
To execute the basic "Flashback" effect, simply offer the spectator a choice of book. It doesn't make any difference whether you use two, three or all four of the gaffed books that come with "Ultimate Flashback" since they're all identical with the exception of the cover. Once the book is selected, hold it in your left hand with the spine of the book in the crook of the left hand with the left thumb on the front cover and the remaining fingers on the back.
Grasping the upper right hand corner of the book approximately one inch from the top of the book, riffle the pages using the right middle finger. Ask the spectator to call, "Stop!" any time that he wishes. When he does so, pull the book open at that point, just enough for the spectator to see the first few lines on the right hand page facing him.
Instruct the spectator to remember the first word of text on the page. Simultaneously, glance over the top edge of the book and quickly memorize the second word from the end of the top line on the page facing you. This word is identical to the first word on the page the spectator is looking at. Please don't make a "move" out of this. A quick, casual glimpse is all it takes as you instruct the spectator what to do. Be sure to hold the book at a level that doesn't require any straining to see over the top edge.
Immediately close the book and toss it aside. You can now reveal the spectator's word as dramatically as you wish. Naturally, there are other variations possible. For example, you can make a tongue-in-cheek wager with the spectator. State, "You've heard the expression that one picture is worth a thousand words. Tonight, one word could be worth a thousand pictures. One thousand pictures of George Washington on a thousand one dollar bills. In other words, if I should fail to correctly reveal the one word you are about to concentrate upon, you'll win $1000."
For this presentation, I always use a bookmark to mark the page the spectator selects. This will prevent him from later changing his mind and claiming he's thinking of a different word. I have the spectator insert the bookmark anywhere into the top edge of the book that he wishes. I then slide the protruding bookmark to the left, wedging it into the "gutter" to keep it from falling out. Opening the book at that point, I have the spectator memorize the first word on the selected page. I then close the book and place it aside, reminding everyone that the selected page is marked with the bookmark in case the spectator happens to forget his word.
Picking up a piece of posterboard and a marker, I proceed to print the spectator's selected word, however, I purposely mime printing a few extra letters. Now, I state that I have an impression the spectator is concentrating upon a seven letter word beginning with the letter "S." Actually, I've correctly written the spectator's five letter word. I want the spectator to think that I've gotten the wrong word. I continue by saying, "Does that mean anything to you?" Naturally the spectator says that it doesn't. I feign shock and reply, are you sure? What word are you thinking of?" The spectator announces his selected word. I turn the piece of posterboard, word side towards the audience, as I state, "Fortunately so was I!"
The 'Pointer' Phenomena
This effect should always be preceded by the examination of the books and the "first wordon the page riffle selection." In other words, you perform the effect as detailed under "The Basic Handling", without the wager. As soon as you've correctly revealed the spectator's selected word, you immediately invite the spectator to drop down to the "next" paragraph and to put his finger on any word in that paragraph.
Ask the spectator to keep his finger on the word he's selected. It's also advisable to look away as the spectator points to the word. Tell the spectator to concentrate on the first letter of his word. Appear to concentrate intently and state that you seem to be getting the impression. "What is the first letter of your word?" you ask. The spectator states that it is, for example, the letter "B." The performer says, "I knew that!" The audience will usually laugh at this seemingly pompous claim. The performer continues, "I'm serious. I really was thinking of the letter "B." I'll prove it to you. Move to the next word on the line and this time picture the entire word in your mind like it's printed on a large billboard." After a moments concentration, the performer exclaims, "I see it. Is the word you're thinking of, "defiant?" The spectator admits the performer is 100% correct.
The clue to the spectator's mentally selected word is the first letter the performer apparently misses. If you examine the special 23 word paragraph printed under the heading, "Where are all the gaffs?" you'll note that the first letter of each word is every other letter in the alphabet, beginning with "A" (Apparently) through "W" ("witnesses"). Since the letters X-Y-Z are not involved, the next word reverts back to "B" (Blindly) through "V" (victims). In your mind, simply say the letter the spectator has revealed, loud, the next letter softly and the next letter loud, sort of like an abbreviated Si Stebbins set-up. When you hear the first letter of the spectator's word, for example, "B" you immediately know the next word in the paragraph begins with the letter "D" (B-c-D). After the gag start, have the spectator move on to the next word. A quick glance at the accompanying "prompter," which is listed alphabetically, will disclose that the word beginning with "D" is "defiant."
Finish by revealing the word the spectator is concentrating on. As shown earlier, to enable you to have the book casually examined, the gimmicked paragraph has been arranged into four cyclical versions so the spectator sees nine numbered pages before a repeat of the first gaffed paragraph appears. To help you remember the connecting letters, simply remember the mnemonic phrase, Veterans Always Win Battles. In other words, V always precedes A and W always precedes B. The letters X-Y-Z are not used.
You'll also find that there are several different "Prompter" cards provided. Take your pick. Naturally you can memorize the twenty-three words. Or, you can laminate and trim the smallest "Prompter" so it can be palmed. Place three small drops of epoxy glue on the blank side of the prompter in the shape of a triangle and let it dry. This will enable you to tell by "feel" in your pocket, which side is which and which side should be "up." Naturally, the prompter should be palmed with the "nipple" side against the palm of the hand. During your performance, obtain the prompter from your left hand jacket pocket, finger palming it in the process. Hold the book (and palmed prompter) with your left hand. Riffle the pages with your right hand as previously detailed. After the successful completion of the "First word riffle selection," proceed with the "Pointer Phenomena." As soon as you know the first letter of the word the spectator was thinking of, for example, "B", consult the alphabetically listed words on the palmed prompter, skip a letter and locate the word that begins with "D." That's all there is to it. Dispose of the prompter when you toss the book back in your case.
You can also glue the prompter to the back of a bookmark and cover it with clear laminating film, or make a bookmark from scratch by gluing the enclosed bookmark prompter art to both sides of a piece of black card stock, and laminate. Now you can have the page selected using the bookmark. Ask the spectator to insert it between any two pages. Be sure to hand it to him with the prompter side facing away from him. At a distance of a few feet, no one will have any idea what the printing actually says. Leave about two inches of the bookmark protruding above the book and move it to the left, pushing it deeply into the gutter of the book. Open the book at that point, wide enough for the spectator to glimpse the first word on the page. As soon as you've revealed the spectator's word, push the right four fingers deeper between the two pages and begin to open the book between both hands.
Simultaneously, with the left hand, remove the bookmark. Hold it between the left thumb and first finger as the remaining left fingers grasp the book and open it wider to permit the spectator to point at any word in the "next" paragraph. Be sure to use the word, "next" when you tell the spectator what to do. The bookmark with the "prompter" list facing you is held behind the book where it's clearly visible. When you've completed the effect, push the bookmark between the pages of the closed book, hiding it from view. Toss the book in your case and you're "clean." This is my preferred method, but any method that you're comfortable with can be used.
Have the spectator freely select a book for you. Then, have him select one for himself. Hold your book in your left hand as described for the "Riffle word selection" and show the spectator how you want him to select a page. State that you want him to do likewise to you. In other words, the spectator selects a page in the book you're holding and memorizes the first word on that page. Then, the spectator riffles the pages of his book until you call stop, at which time you remember the first word on the page you've freely selected. Both books are then discarded. The spectator is handed a sheet of posterboard and a bold marking pen. You have a pen and a sheet also.
Stand back-to-back with the spectator. Your side and the spectator's side should be facing the audience. Tell the spectator that he is to print the word he's thinking of on his piece of board and you'll do the same. If the spectator is a lady, the back-to-back position can be good for a chuckle or two. A Jack Benny sideways glance, a Tom Selleck simultaneous raising and lowering of both eyebrows and a smile will do the trick. Obviously all that's necessary here is to sneak a "peek" at the spectator's word choice and ignore the word that you supposedly noted in his book. You simply print the spectator's word on your board, voila, an amazing coincidence.
Hen Fetch's beautiful card concept, "The Smith Myth," provides an excellent modus operandi for a dynamite book test. Simply allow three spectators (some distance apart from one another) to select one paperback novel each. After they've examined the books from cover-to-cover, take the remaining book and approach the first spectator. Holding the book in yourleft hand, have the spectator call, "stop" as you riffle the pages. Open the book at the point the spectator stops you. Obtain a "peek," remembering the second word from the end of the top line. Show the spectator the left hand page (as he sees it) and ask that he open his book to the same page number as is showing at the bottom of the freely selected page.
Keeping the page open, approach the second and third spectators and have them note the same page number. Each is instructed to open their book to that page and to memorize the first word on the page. Ask the three spectator to close their books. Collect and toss them on your table. Now have all three stand in place. Request that the spectators picture their mentally selected word. Appear to concentrate and suddenly state, "I have an impression of three words. If I correctly identify the word that you're thinking of, please be seated." Now, call out any two indifferent words, followed by the word you originally memorized in the book used to select a page number. Naturally since all three spectators are concentrating on the same word, they immediately sit down.
Obviously this is a powerful effect, however, be sure you perform it for a rather large audience. It reduces the chances of the three spectators comparing notes after your performance. Give serious consideration to using this as a "closer" for one of your book test routine.
One of the boldest book tests ever conceived was the brainchild of David Hoy. In the simplest of terms, it was brilliant. Two unprepared paperback books are used. The spectator selects either book. The remaining book is held in a position to riffle the edges as previously detailed. A spectator is asked to call "stop" at any time. The book is opened at that point and the performer calls out the page number, instructing the spectator holding the other book to turn to the chosen page. Tossing the book aside, the performer asks the spectator to concentrate on the first line of the text. "Don't settle for a short four or five letter word," the performer states. "Make this as difficult as possible. Concentrate on a long word, something over five letters, if that's possible." Immediately, the performer reveals the word the spectator is concentrating upon.
Most of you are familiar with this little gem. Obviously, the performer has selected two sentences on the first line of facing pages in each book and memorized the longest word in each. Remembering the page numbers, as soon as the second spectator has called "stop" the performer miscalls the page number he's been stopped on, substituting the force pages. It'squite easy to see which page (right or left) the spectator is looking at, so determining which word has been selected is a snap. To remove the one inconsistency in this great effect (not allowing anyone to actually see the selected page number), I decided to offer as an option, a gaffed book that will enable you to cleanly force two facing page numbers. While the "guts" of this book is prepared to perform "Flashback," Only the first 30 pages and the last 30 pages in the book are consecutively numbered. The balance of the book (approximately 128 numbered pages) consists of pages 92 and 93 (facing pages). No matter where the book is opened (with the exception of the first 15 sheets on either end) the spectator will be looking at pages 92 and 93. Obviously, you memorize the longest words in the first line on each of these pages in an unprepared paperback novel that you can pick up at your local bookstore. Better yet, prepare two prediction envelopes, each containing one of the two possible force words (produce the proper one at the appointed time) or use a gaffed "double" envelope to produce either of the two possible predictions. In this fashion, you can perform any "Flashback" effect and follow it with a powerful prediction.
The more adventurous performers might also consider handing the book to a spectator and have them open the book to the force pages. However, if you want to play it safe, simple riffle the pages until a spectator calls "stop" and then have them verify and call out the selected page numbers. With a 64 page leeway, it's quite simple to have the spectator call "stop" on the "force" pages. I have left the best usage of the "Hoy" principle for last. I have specially written the first four lines on pages 92 and 93. The first paragraph on page 92 is as follows: "(line #1) Laura wiped the tears from her eyes instinctively as (line #2) she put on jeans and a bright yellow blouse. After (line #3) losing two of her best friends, there wasn't much grief (line #4) left for anyone else. The first four lines on page 93 are as follows: " (line #1) He wanted to immediately return to see Laura and (line #2) the family. Just then, his head began to throb with a (line #3) blinding pain. If only the doctor would hurry, perhaps (line #4) he would get some relief. It flashed upon him that this" You'll notice two important things about these paragraphs.
Each first line contains one noticeably "long" word. Therefore, you could force pages 92 and 93, allowing the spectator to settle on either page. Have another spectator open his (Ultimate Flashback) book to the selected page and concentrate on one word in the first line on that page. And to make it as difficult as possible, he should select the longest word on that line. You can then reveal the word through telepathy or produce a prediction (from a Himber wallet which contains predictions for both words, one on each side of the wallet). However, here's the "real work." Force pages 92 and/or 93 using the Hoy book. Have the spectator turn to either of the page numbers he noted. Ask him to read the first three or four lines to himself, silently. (Please note that the spectator will never recognize that the page he's looking at is identical to the one he selected in the "Hoy" book for the simple reason, he only had time to note the page number. As soon as he has done so, appear to concentrate intently.
After a moment, begin to describe the contents of the first four lines. Don't repeat it word for word.describe what's happening in the passages the spectator just read to himself. For example, if the spectator is looking at page 92, state that "I sense that someone is very upset. I seem to see flashes of color.. .blue and a bright yellow, perhaps some kind of clothing. The images are becoming stronger. It's a young lady. Her name is Laura. She has suffered a great loss." Ask the spectator to read the first three or four lines aloud. Believe me, your audience will gasp when they realize that you've read the spectator's mind. Not just a word or two.but the spectator's innermost thoughts. If the spectator is looking at page 93, state that " I sense a young man. Someone who misses his family and a young lady. I believe her name is Laura. Now, I'm beginning to sense a throbbing pain. A severe headache. The young man is in desperate need of a doctor." Have the spectator read aloud the first four lines on page 93. Bingo! This is mentalism at it's best.
The Elak Influence
You don't have to be a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to recognize an exciting plot premise when you stumble over one. I've always liked the Al Koran "code" concept which is explained in Hugh Miller's book, "Al Koran's Legacy." The effect, a prediction, is titled, "Insight Spectacular." However, when I finished reading Eric C. Lewis' "Lexicography" in "The Crowning Miracles," another cryptic code idea, I knew I had found the book test climax that I was looking for. The Lewis effect involved a small packet of alphabet cards and a dictionary. The spectator arranges the cards to form a word and the performer immediately identifies the location of the word in a large dictionary.
I immediately applied the idea to a powerhouse prediction effect utilizing the new "Ultimate Flashback." Examination of the second and third lines from the bottom of each page in the gaffed "Ultimate Flashback" books will reveal two added features. First, the third line from the bottom of each page includes a proper noun, a person's name. The revelation of this name is actually a prelude into the far greater mystery that subsequently occurs thanks to the feature built into the next to last line on every page. You'll note that each of these two lines (on facing pages) contains only one word that exceeds four letters. It is either of these two words that you will ultimately predict.
The performer asks how many people are familiar with the Evelyn Woods Speed Reading Course? Notwithstanding the answer, the performer proceeds to give a brief explanation. The basic idea, the performer explains, is to follow the finger as it weaves a wave-like course down each page. Instead of focusing on each line and reading one word at a time, the brain is trained to record the essence of each page as it is scanned. Obviously, a well trained speed-reader can literally devour an entire book in the time it takes some of us to read a chapter or two.
A randomly selected spectator is invited to temporarily hold a dictionary for safekeeping. A second spectator is asked to select any one of four paperback novels. The spectator is requested to open the book anywhere he likes and to place his finger at the top of either page. The performer states that when he snaps his fingers, the spectator is to slowly move his forefinger snake-like down the page, allowing his eyes to scan the page as he does so. The performer snaps his fingers and closes his eyes.
As the spectator scans the page, the performer is heard to repeat random, disjointed words. It's as if the performer is seeing in his mind the page as it's being scanned by the spectator. Suddenly, the mentalist asks the spectator to move his finger along the second and third lines from the bottom of the page. "I seem to be getting an impression of someone's name. Is there a name somewhere in the vicinity of your finger," the performer asks? The spectator states that there is. Slowly the performer spells the name "Brewster", one letter at a time. "Am I correct," the performer asks? The spectator replies that he is right on the money. "Would you please drop down to the next line and read it silently to yourself," the performer inquires. "Now, please concentrate on any word in that sentence, but to make it as difficult as possible, please choose a word with more than four or five letters.
The longer the better," the performer states.
The performer picks up a drawing pad and a marking pen. Gazing intently at the spectator, the performer jots something on the pad and then holds it high above his head without allowing anyone to see what he has written. "Please call aloud the one word out of the hundreds of thousands of possibilities in that book that you're thinking of," the performer asks. The spectator exclaims, for example, "everything." The performer says, "Look!" Simultaneously, he turns the drawing pad around and the audience sees a cryptic message, "104-L-1." The audience, expecting to see a word printed on the pad is confused. The performer asks the person holding the dictionary to please stand.
"I had a strange premonition, but I believe I know what it means," the performer states. "Please turn to page 104 in the dictionary you've been holding," says the performer.When the spectator has indicated that he has located the requested page, the performer states, "I believe the "L" stands for the left hand column. There are two columns on page 104, will you please look at the one on the left." The spectator does so. "Now, the numeral "1" indicates the first word in the left hand column. Please read aloud that word!" the performer states. The spectator replies, "everything."
The second and third lines from the bottom of every pair of facing pages throughout the four gaffed books is specially worded. You'll note that the proper noun in the third line from the bottom of the left hand page as you look at it is "Brewster". The proper noun in the third line from the bottom of the facing right hand page is "Robert." Obviously, all you have to do is memorize the respective force names. Depending on which page, the left or right hand page, the spectator is looking at, you're prepared to reveal the name the spectator will be thinking of.
How to get to the third line from the bottom of the selected page is clearly described under the description of the "Effect." When you drop down to the second line from the bottom of the selected page, you'll note that the sentence is constructed of all three and four letter words. There is only one long word containing over four letters in the sentence. So forcing this word is simply a question of directing the spectator to select a word consisting of more than four or five letters.
In the event the spectator is working with the left hand page as he looks at it, you simply write the following code: "104-L-1." Naturally, the first word in the left hand column on page 104 is "everything", your left hand page force word. If the spectator is looking at the right hand page, you write the code: "183-L-1." If you check, the first word in the left hand column on page 183, it's "lumberjack", your right hand force word. That's all there is to it, except for your acknowledgment of the audience's applause. Recently I have utilized a very strong finish relative to the dictionary. After I've forced either "Everything" or "Lumberjack", I hand out the dictionary and tell the audience that I have achieved one of the most remarkable feats of memory ever. I have not only memorized every word in the dictionary, I have also memorized their exact location. With that I direct the spectator holding the dictionary to turn to either page 104 or 183, depending on which word the spectator has selected and to place his finger on the first word in the left hand column. I
then finish by asking the first spectator to reveal the one word out of thousands that he is concentrating upon. As soon as he replies, I loudly repeat the word and pointing at the spectator holding the dictionary, I practically scream, what word did I have you look up? Naturally he calls out the very word the spectator has been thinking of. That's strong stuff folks.
Incidentally, Robin DeWitt (the great Kardor) gave me a fabulous bit over lunch. Robin has his BACK turned to the spectator for the dictionary bit. To find out which page the spectator is looking at (right or left hand) Robin skips the scanning ploy described earlier. He simply states, "Earlier we started at the top, then we skipped to the middle, for a change, let's start at the bottom of the page you've freely selected. Please begin scanning the sentences from the bottom up. (Pause). Wait a minute—check that third or fourth line from the bottom. Is there a proper noun there.. .someone's name perhaps? There is, good. Picture it in your mind. Is it Robert's name?
If the spectator says "yes", you know he's looking at the right hand page as he looks at it, which means that the word on the line BELOW it is "Lumberjack" and can be found on page 183, the first word in the left hand column. If he replies, "No!", no problem. Robin simply says, "I've read that book too many times. Robert is his first name, is that Mr. Brewster's name your concentrating on? Naturally the spectator will reply in the affirmative. Now proceed to force the word, "Everything" on the next line below it as previously described and locate the mentally selected word in the dictionary on page 104, left hand column, first word. Thanks Kardor. That's brilliant. Just one more tip. Recently I discovered that page 92 in a New York Times Best-selling Author paperback book, "A Woman Without Lies" by Elizabeth Lowell (Published by Avon Books, N.Y.) is BLANK. I use the Hoy Book and force page 92 on the spectator holding that book by riffling the pages as previously described. I tell the spectator to select any sentence on the page and to concentrate on it without giving me any clues as to what he's thinking, either by body language or by saying anything.
Naturally, the spectator will think he has you since the page is totally blank. When it comes time to reveal the spectator's sentence, state that you're having a problem picking up his thoughts. In fact, you seem to be drawing a complete BLANK. Ask the spectator to reveal his mentally selected sentence. You'll get a great audience response when the spectator states that the page is completely blank. Every effect possible with "Ultimate Flashback" is direct, fast and totally baffling. By combining two or three of the effects, you'll have a blockbuster routine, one your audience will long remember.
Here's another tip you can use. How to change the covers on your Ultimate Flashback books. The covers on these books can easily be changed if you so desire. Obtain a can of rubber cement thinner and an oil can type dispenser available in artist supply stores. To remove the cover, open the front cover and put a generous amount of thinner along the spine of the book. The thinner dries without affecting the paper, so be generous. As soon as it has soaked in, gradually begin to peel the cover away from the spine of the book. Repeat application of thinner, if necessary. Turn book over and repeat with the back cover. You'll find that the cover will easily peel away and you'll be left with the guts of the book. Take the "guts" to your nearest book store. Tell the clerk that you are a magician, and are planning to recover the book. That way, you won't get any strange looks as you search the paperback section for a book with a cover that will fit on the coverless "guts." Find a suitable book with the same dimensions as your bald book. Buy several different covers. When you get home, repeat the peeling process on the new paperbacks. Yes, it will work on those too. Using Elmer's Glue (it's white and dries colorless) apply same along the spine of your "guts." Coat the spine of the cover also. Be sure the glue stays only on the spine. Don't use too much. Place new cover on and stack under heavy weight overnight. In the morning, you'll have a "new" Ultimate Flashback book. It's a good idea to stack the 5 UF paperbacks and place under a heavy weight for several days to flatten them out. In fact, they should be kept that way when you're not using them.
I close with Ultimate Flashback when I'm not using the Russian Roulette and it never fails to get a standing ovation. I'll explain how in a moment. My stage routine utilizes four of the Ultimate Flashback books, including the Hoy force book. I also use the soft-bound edition of Ted Karmilovitch's "Mother of All Booktests," a copy of Mary Higgins Clark's paperback, "The Lottery Winner" (it has a fabulous first paragraph on page 92), and a copy of Webster's Word Guide.
I begin my routine by handing six of the above books to six spectators. I retain the "Hoy Force Book," using it to demonstrate how I want the spectators to examine the books. I riffle through the pages of the book rather rapidly, informing the spectators that they should quickly leaf through the book they're holding, paying particular attention to the first few words on the pages as they go by, making sure they are all different from one another. I give the spectators approximately seven or eight seconds and then ask them to close their books and to place them on their lap. This rapid examination is covered by a mention of "to save There are two "opening routines" that I use.
The first is the one described under the "basic handling" on page 4 of these instructions. The second is a quick effect using three of the spectators. I have them stand and taking the book each is holding, in turn, I riffle till the spectator calls stop. The spectator is then asked to memorize the first word on the page facing them. In quick fashion three words have been selected. To facilitate remembering the selected words, I link them together in a sentence. I then proceed to read each spectator's mind and reveal the three words, one at a time. I Have each spectator sit down, in turn, if I have successfully identified his or her word. The three books are tossed aside.
Picking up the Hoy book, I ask the spectator holding Mary Higgins Clark's book, "The Lottery Winner," to call stop as I slowly riffle the pages of the Hoy Book. When the spectator call's "stop," I spread open the book and tapping my right little finger near the bottom of the right page, I ask him to note the page number which he randomly selected and to turn to that page in his book. I always wait until the spectator has opened to page 92 before closing the Hoy book, just in case he forgets the page number he noted. I quickly move away, tossing the force book on the table. The spectator is instructed to SILENTLY read the first paragraph on that page to himself. I announce that I will attempt to focus on the scene the spectator is reading about, much like watching a motion picture. This is a very effective part of the routine. You are now going to reveal the spectator's thoughts as opposed to a word or two. I usually pace back and forth as I attempt to visualize and describe what is happening in the paragraph the spectator is reading. When I can no longer sense anything, I hand my wireless microphone to the spectator and ask him to read aloud the paragraph he has just read to himself. You'll head an audible gasp from the audience as they realize you have successfully described the contents of the paragraph.
By now you will have received several rounds of applause. I then turn to the spectator holding the MOAB. I instruct him to turn to any page and to focus on any word. However, I caution, don't pick a wimpy little word containing only six or seven letters...the longer the word he concentrates on, the more difficult the demonstration will be. "Do you have one?" I inquire. Good, I state, "then close the book, but keep a finger between the pages in case he wants to refer to the word later."
I then inform the audience that what they are about to witness...if it works...is one of the most difficult feats of its kind ever attempted. Smiling, I continue, "In fact, if this should actually happen to work, the LEAST you can give me is a standing ovation." I say this as Jack Benny would have said it. (I actually picture him in my mind delivering the lines). They'll laugh, but it sets in motion an actual standing ovation.
Continue by saying, "I'm seeerious. Look it, let me show you just how difficult this is going to be. Sir, (addressing the spectator holding the MOAB) I want you to concentrate on just the first LETTER of the word you're thinking of. On the count of 3, try and project it to every member of this audience. And you folks out there in the audience, try and pick up the gentleman's thought." I count to three. Turning to the spectator with the book I ask him to call out the letter he was thinking of, When he responds, i.e. "D"...I say, besides me, how many of you saw the letter D in your mind's eye? Hold up your hand!" Notwithstanding the response which is usually very small. I look at the audience as I say, "I told you so."
Addressing the spectator holding the MOAB, I ask him to now picture his entire word in his mind. (If you've memorized the key words, you'll know he's thinking of "Drugstore." However, you immediately ask the spectator holding the word guide to stand. You explain to the audience, that while it's conceivable for an expert to memorize the 35,000 words in the Word Guide, you are the only person in the world who has not only memorized each and every word...but the location of each word as well. Open your pad and after a moments concentration as you gaze at the spectator holding the MOAB, jot something down. Turn it towards the audience as you repeat what's written on the page..."83-R-1T. " Instruct the spectator to turn to page 83 in the word guide.
Explain that there are three columns on the page, but the spectator is to concentrate on the right column. Now, place your finger on the first word in that column. Turning to the spectator with the MOAB, ask him to reveal, for the first time, the one word out of the 250,000 words in that book that he's thinking of. He'll reply, "Drugstore." You spin around and point at the spectator holding the word guide and virtually scream, "What word did I have you look up sir?" He'll excitedly respond, "Drugstore." You immediately throw your hands up in the applause position. Stand there as if you have just accomplished the greatest miracle of all time and watch your audience rise to their feet and accord you a standing ovation.
Mom & Pop Together
For some time I have used the Mother of All Booktests (soft bound edition) in concert with my Ultimate Flashback. It's a powerful combination. Unfortunately, that combination can cost you over $400 to own. Workers know that it's a worthwhile investment. Others may have a problem justifying that kind of investment. For those of you who are in the latter category, you can come close to creating the same impact if you own Ultimate Flashback. You're already familiar with the unique second paragraph on the left hand page. It evolved from an effect created by a magical genius of an earlier generation, U.F. Grant. If memory serves me correctly, a specially printed page which matched the Readers Digest magazine consisted of paragraphs containing words in alphabetical order. The problem was the fact that in constructing the words, Grant utilized 25 letters of the alphabet, including the word "x-ray" which stood out like neon. It's been so long ago, that's all I remember.
Obviously, the Grant influence also inspired the late Jack Dean to create his effect, "Fragments." I too loved the idea and constructed the paragraph in "Ultimate Flashback" books to take advantage of the concept. The first letter of the 23 words used in the paragraph were alphabetical, but not in alphabetical order. I also eliminated the use of the telltale letters, x, y and z. In addition, I transposed the paragraphs every other page to help disguise the principal. In recent years, Ted Karmalovitch, with the assistance of fellow members of NY's mental think tank, "The 13," created what has become affectionately known as the "Mother of All Book Tests" or MOAB, for short.
Ted took the principle used by those before him, light years ahead, by spreading the key words (containing 7 or more letters) liberally throughout the text of repeating folios. MOAB is truly a mindblower, and the many variations that were created to provide the performer with the all-important first letter of the selected word, were ingenious to say the least. The mixed blessing was the high price Ted placed on sharing his baby. To many it kept the effect out of the hands of the multitudes. To others, it prevented them from using it. To both camps, this variation, while making a necessary concession, can deliver much of the impact without the heavy investment.
The concession that I had to make was changing from a "mind reading" moment to one of precognition, or as mentalists refer to it, a prediction. If you've read the balance of the instructions, you know that I utilize a series of revelations during the routine as opposed to just revealing a single word. Usually a combination of three of the following alternatives (1) Reveal the first word in the first line on the selected page. (2) Reveal the first word in the first line of the first paragraph freely selected by three spectators. (3) Select the same first word as the spectator. (4) Reveal the details of a first paragraph selected from an ungaffed paperback or on page 92 of the Ultimate Flashback books. (5) Reveal a word selected from a line elsewhere on any page in the Ultimate Flashback books. (6) Reveal the exact location, in a dictionary, of a word selected on any page in the Ultimate Flashback books.
Now, I propose that you can also predict the location, in a dictionary, any word freely thought of in the second paragraph of any of the Flashback books. This second paragraph on the left hand pages throughout the Ultimate Flashback books contains 23 words. The first letter in each word is different from the others. If a spectator thinks of any one of the 23 words, it can be divined by the performer provided the performer can discover the identity of the letter the word begins with. The instructions for Ultimate Flashback utilize the alphabetical order of the words. To help disguise this, the sequence of the words is one away from the proceeding word. For example, The word following the "A" word begins with a "C." The "C" word is followed by a word that begins with a "E." And so on. A subtlety of missing on the first word the spectator selects enables the performer to direct the spectator to think of the next word, which of course the performer now knows.
One of the subtleties created to do this in the MOAB was ingenious, to say the least. The performer describes how difficult it is to discern even a single word in a person's mind. To demonstrate this, the performer asks the spectator to concentrate on the first letter of his mentally selected word, and to attempt to transmit this letter to the entire audience with his mind alone. When this has been done, the performer asks the spectator which letter he was attempting to transmit, for example, the spectator replies, "M." Addressing the audience, the performer states, "Beside me, how many of you were thinking of the letter "M," please raise your hand."
Regardless of the response, the performer immediately knows the identity of the spectator's word. To do this with the second paragraph on every other page in the Ultimate Flashback books is quite easy. Incidentally, since the Flashbook special second paragraph contains all long words of seven or more letters, no limitation has to be placed on the spectator's choice of words as is the case with the MOAB. Using any one of the Ultimate Flashback books, have a spectator call stop as you riffle back the corner of the book. When the spectator calls "stop" allow the spectator to look at and remember the first word in the top line on the page.
As he does so, obtain your glimpse of the second word in on the top line of the facing page. You now know (and remember) the word the spectator is thinking of. Continuing to hold the book open at the page the spectator stopped you on, you then show the same page to a second spectator and invite him to drop down to the SECOND paragraph on the page...and to think of ANY word in that paragraph. You can easily see how the EXPANDED FREEDOM of this selection process will later compound the spectator's amazement. As soon as the spectator has confirmed that he or she is concentrating on a word, close the book and toss it aside. At this point you only know one of the two words selected. Here's how you reveal BOTH!
The performer describes how difficult it is to discern even a single word in a person's mind. To demonstrate this, the performer asks the second spectator to concentrate on the first letter of his mentally selected word, and to attempt to transmit this letter to the entire audience with his mind alone. When this has been done, the performer asks the spectator which letter he was attempting to transmit, for example, the spectator replies, "M." Addressing the audience, the performer states, "Beside me, how many of you were thinking of the letter "M," please raise your hand." Regardless of how many people raise their hand, note that thefew (if any) hands that are raised indicates just how difficult it is to transmit ANYTHING mentally. Without hesitation the performer picks up a sheet of cardboard and ask the FIRST spectator to picture the word he's been concentrating upon. The performer prints something on the pad and placing the pen aside, asks the spectator to call out the word he is thinking of. For example, the spectator states, "Increase." The performer shows what he wrote on the cardboard. It reads: "Increase." The audience applauds. The performer (that's you) now states that what he is about to do is so incredibly difficult, should he happen to be correct, the least the audience can do is give him a standing ovation (smile as this is said). The performer now draws the audience's attention to a sealed envelope that has been in full view throughout. Anyone is requested to open the envelope and to remove the folded slip inside. As soon as this is done, the performer retrieves the folded slip and opens same, reading aloud what's written on the slip. This is what the audience hears:
This is a prediction. After many hours of trying to project myself into the situation that will be created during my performance, I have finally perceived a vision of a single solitary word that will be selected in the fairest possible way by a member of the audience. That individual will concentrate upon a word located on page 456 of Webster's dictionary, 2nd word fromthe top, under the word "Malice". Hopefully my precognitive vision will be correct!
Without hesitation, the performer points to a spectator who has been holding a softbound copy of Webster's New World Portable Large Print Dictionary. (Note: This large print dictionary contains 30,000 entries. Each page contains only one column of words and their definitions. The size of the type is quite large and each target word is set in bold face. type. This makes it quite easy for spectators to count down to the predicted word. It can be ordered on-line from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It is printed by Simon & Schuster Macmillan Company. It is compiled by the staff of Webster's New World Dictionary of American English-Third College Edition. the ISBN number is 0-671-88350-X. It retails for just under $20, but I order 6 or more at a time from Barnes & Noble and receive a good discount.)
The spectator holding the dictionary is asked to turn to page 456 and to count down to the second bold word on the page. Continue by saying I believe the gentlemen's word is "malicious" but you'll find it listed under the definition of "malice." Looking at the second spectator, the performer asks, "What word were you concentrating upon, sir?" The spectator responds, "malicious." The audience stands an applauds wildly.
Quite an effect. How can you remember the 23 words in the second paragraph of every other page in the Ultimate Flashback books? Quite simply. Just look at the sample prediction art on the next page. You'll note that the information prompter is set just below the prediction. As soon as you know the first letter of the spectator's word, you simply locate the word alphabetically listed whose first letter is "M." The location of this word as it appears in the dictionary follows the word itself. Since the audience never gets to see the written prediction, you simply, verbally insert the location of the spectator's word at that point in the prediction which reads, "concentrate upon a word located on page_, fromthe top! It's really quite easy and the prompter is right there for you, eliminating the need for ANY memory. Naturally, depending on which os the 23 words the spectator has selected, you have to insert the proper location, making adjustments for the actual word selected. Fo example, and this is the only such instance, should the spectator select the word, "EDWARDS"...you have to modify the wording of the prediction accordingly by inserting after the words- "That individual will concentrate upon a proper noun which does not appear in the dictionary. However if it did, it would appear following the word "educate" on page 247, four from the bottom" Follow that with "Hopefully my precognitive vision will be correct."
Look at the spectator holding the dictionary and ask that he turn to page 247. When he does, ask him if the word, "EDWARDS" follows the word "EDUCATE"...naturally it doesn't. Now ask the second spectator to reveal the word he's been concentrating upon. Bingo! He confirms that the word he is thinking of is EDWARDS. The balance of the words do appear in the dictionary and are handled as previously detailed.
Simply Xerox copies of the artwork on the following page on opaque stock, cut them apart, and you'll be set for many performances. If necessary, to make sure the page is opaque, print the reverse side of the paper with a solid page of black. The reason, you don't want the audience to see through the paper and notice the prompter at the bottom of the page.
Memorize the key words. If not, use these various cheat sheets
I APPARENTLY BLINDLY CONGRESSMAN . DEFIANT EDWARDS FAMILY GENERATED HYSTERIA IMMENSE | JUSTIFIED I KICKBACKS LENIENCY
(Trim & glue back to-back & Laminate)
(Trim, glue back-to-back to a piece of coverstock & laminate as a bookmark)
Apparently • Blindly • Congressman Defiant • Edwards • Family
Generated • Hysteria • Immense Justified • Kickbacks • Leniency Malidous • Nobody • Opposition Predicted • Quickly • Retribution Silenced • Towards • Undesirable Victims Witnesses
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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.