LARRY BECKER'S PROFESSIONAL MODEL
PERFORM SOME OF THE MOST BAFFLING EFFECTS EVER!
When you read the effect entitled Transparan-See in Larry Becker's book, Stunners, the primary method employs a specially designed 3" x 5" file card holder fashioned after a pocket secretary. Larry sent the specifications to England and had it beautifully fashioned from fine quality leather. What is the Blockbuster Wallet? In short, it's a pocket secretary designed to hold a single 3" x 5" file card on one panel and a pocket on the opposite side to hold an envelope, cards, etc.
The performer asks three spectators to each concentrate on a three digit number. Immediately, the performer writes a prediction boldly on a large sheet of cardboard and places it aside. The three spectators are then asked to each record the three digit number they're thinking of on the file card in the pocket secretary. It is then handed to a fourth spectator to total the numbers. When the total, for example, 1,948, is announced, the performer shows what he wrote on the piece of cardboard. It is 1,948, the exact total of the spectator's mentally selected numbers.
Now, the performer states that prior to showtime, he gave a sealed envelope to a member of the audience to hold for safekeeping. The spectator holding the envelope is requested to open it and read aloud what's written on a 3 x 5" file card inside. It states that the total of the numbers thought of by the audience will be identical to the year the spectator was born. "In what year were you born, sir?" the performer asks. The spectator replies, 1948! An amazing coincidence? The performer then has the spectator confirm that at no time did he divulge in any way, the astrological sign under which he was born. The performer immediately tells the spectator his sign, and even the month and date of his birth.
The Blockbuster is also perfect as a prompter device. Included are the instructions for a marvelous word test. One of the cleanest, most baffling effects you've ever performed. And to top it off, I'll throw in my no memory Graphology test. One of the most diabolical ploys I've ever created. The beautiful Blockbuster Wallet is custom designed for professional use and is responsible for the entire working of the routine detailed above including one of the most diabolical information gathering ideas ever created. It's a high quality dynamite prop that you will find useful for a myriad of effects.
Comes complete with everything you need including detailed instructions Price postpaid in the U.S. -- only $125.00 • Overseas add $10 for airmail delivery) • Visa & Mastercard accepted • Order from LARRY BECKER • P.O. Box 6023 • Carefree, AZ • 85377-6023
Here's a little background on this dynamite effect. The "Blockbuster," a Himber Style pocket memo holder was primarily designed to perform "Add-A-Number" type effects. For the benefit of those of you who are not familiar with the original "Add-A-Number" effect, this was a piece of apparatus consisting of a pad mounted on a metal base with a pencil connected to it by a length of string.
I believe the effect originated in Holland. In short, the purpose of the device was to switch the top page of the pad, which contained a series of three or four digit numbers recorded by three members of the audience, with a page containing "force" numbers previously recorded by the performer. This "force" page was located several pages below the top sheet which the spectators write on. The switch was accomplished by secretly pulling the pencil and string which in turn pulled the top few pages into the interior of the base. The page containing the performer's force numbers became the top sheet of the pad, ready to be totaled by a fourth spectator.
The "Blockbuster" is my version, a contemporary, pocket memo holder handsomely fashioned from leather by England's Roy Roth. It's designed to hold a single 3" x 5" card on the right panel of the opened case. The pocket on the left hand side, contains a small envelope and the performer's business card. In performance, three spectators are asked to each record a three digit number on this card.
Since the pocket secretary is designed in similar fashion to the well known Himber Wallet, when it is closed and then reopened to the opposite side, a second file card containing the performer's "force" numbers, is exposed ready to be totaled. The use ofjust two file cards as opposed to two pads of paper makes the thickness of the pocket secretary much slimmer and highly desirable.
Naturally, unlike the original "Add-A-Number" apparatus, the "Becker Blockbuster" has no moving parts and is silent in operation. This offers a decided advantage over the original version and many of the subsequent pieces of apparatus that were manufactured over the years.
The performer states that to speed things up, prior to showtime, he asked a member of the audience to draw any object or design on a 3" x 5" file card using an INVISIBLE PEN, an exercise designed to firmly implant the image in the spectator's mind. This was done while the performer's back is turned. The spectator was then instructed to place the blank card in his pocket for safekeeping and at no time since, has the performer seen or touched it. The spectator is asked to confirm that everything the performer has said, is true. In addition, the spectator also confirms that he has told absolutely no one what he drew.
The performer now asks the spectator to picture in his mind exactly what he drew. Picking up a dry erase board, the performer appears to concentrate intently, and proceeds to draw something. Without showing what he has drawn to the audience, the performer places the board on his table, drawing side down. The spectator with the card in his pocket is now asked to remove it. The performer hands the spectator a black marking pen and requests that he draw the same picture he previously drew using an invisible pen, to enable the audience to clearly see the picture in his mind.
When the spectator has completed his drawing, he is requested to show it to the audience. The performer now shows what he drew moments before on the dry erase board. Both pictures are practically identical.
Prior to your performance, arrange to meet with a member of the audience. Preferably someone whose integrity is beyond reproach and/or someone selected by the person or committee who hired you. Once you're alone with your victim, open your Himber style pocket secretary and show that it contains a blank 3" x 5" file card on one panel. You then hand the spectator an invisible ink pen (provided) explaining that you want him to draw anything that he wishes on the file card, using invisible ink. The reason, you explain, is to burn the image into his mind and to prevent you or anyone else from seeing what he has drawn.
Turning your back, the spectator is told to draw his invisible picture. When he has finished, ask him to close the wallet to allow the ink to dry completely. You then turn and retrieve the wallet , holding it in the closed position for a few seconds as if waiting for the ink to dry. Now, open the wallet (actually to the reverse side) so that only the spectator can see the interior of the case, inquire if the drawing on the file card is totally invisible? When the spectator states that it is, have him remove the blank card and to place it in his pocket. (Note: Because you're using a Himber style wallet, the spectator has actually removed a duplicate blank 3" x 5" file card. The card containing his invisible ink drawing is now safely hidden from view inside the wallet). Once the spectator has placed the card in his pocket, ask that he keep it for safekeeping until it is called for during your performance. Remind him NOT to forget what he has invisibly drawn on the card and not to reveal it to anyone else.
As soon as the spectator has left the room, you remove the developer pen and proceed to develop whatever the spectator drew on the original file card. Armed with this information, during your performance as you recap what transpired earlier, you state that the spectator drew anything that he wanted to on a blank file card, using an invisible pen. The spectator who drew the picture using an invisible ink pen will assume that is what you meant. The audience, however, will think that the spectator pretended to draw something on the file card using an imaginary pen. Therefore, when the spectator is later asked to draw the picture he has in mind, the audience will assume that he is drawing it for the first time! It's this little bit of double speak that makes the effect such an powerful design duplication effect.
You then proceed to duplicate the spectator's drawing on a sheet of cardboard. Don't let anyone see what you have drawn. Place it aside, drawing side down. Now, hand the spectator a marking pen. Have him remove the blank card (he thinks it contains his invisible ink drawing) and ask him to use the marking pen to duplicate what he drew with the invisible pen so that the audience can clearly see it! It's possible that later he'll wonder why you didn't develop his invisible ink drawing, but your explanation that you want everyone to clearly see the picture he has in mind should suffice. While on stage, he'll be too busy following your instructions, to give it much thought.
This is not the first time that I've used invisible ink to accomplish a small mental miracle. I used it in the "Laser Gazer" effect described in "Stunners!" Also, in Volume II of "Larry Becker's World of Super Mentalism." See the $5000 Challenge Prediction" and "Ultimate Psychometry."
Here's another devastating use of this principle, for pre-show preparation to apparently read the thoughts of a randomly selected individual during your performance. At least, it will appear that way.
The performer asks a member of the audience if they've ever met prior to that evening? The spectator replies that they have not. The performer asks the spectator her name. (For example, let's say the spectator says, Mary). Mary, are you willing to give your word that there's been absolutely no collusion between us? The spectator replies in the affirmative. "You've been thinking of a series of numbers this evening, is that correct?" the performer inquires. "Yes," the spectator responds. Is it someone's phone number?" Again, the spectator replies, "Yes!" "Do I know the person who belongs to that phone number?" The spectator responds, "No." The performer then states, "Then Mary, I want you to picture this person in your mind. In fact, I want you to imagine that you're phoning this individual. Don't say anything, do this in your mind. Now picture yourself dialing the number and I'll attempt to tune in on your thoughts. Please, don't dial so fast!" The audience laughs. "I believe the first three digits are 488, is that correct?" the performer asks. "Yes!" replies the spectator. "And the next digit is a zero. Is that correct?" The spectator admits that the performer is correct. "Picture the next digit, please. At first I thought it was a six, but my mind has been a little topsy turvey lately. Could it be a "9?" The performer asks. "Yes," the spectator responds. Now, in your mind, see the next two digits. Are they an "8" and another zero. 488-0980? Is that the number you dialed in your mind?" the performer excitedly asks. "Yes!" the surprised spectator responds. The audience applauds.
The performer continues, "Mary, will you picture yourself holding the receiver in your hand. The phone's ringing. The other party has picked it up. I picture you saying, April, is that you? Mary, are you phoning someone named April?" The spectator gasps and acknowledges that she is indeed phoning her friend, April. The audience applauds again as the performer states, Mary, the next time you see April, be sure to tell her that Larry Becker (your name) read your mind.
The working is identical to the first routine. Have the spectator print the telephone number of someone you couldn't possibly know. Also, beneath the telephone number, this individual's name. I first saw this outstanding telephone routine performed many years ago by the well known and highly respected mentalist, Ross Johnson. I also have used one of those novelty sound effects devices (they usually come on a key chain). Make sure it has a telephone ringing sound and then with a pair of pliers, pull out the buttons that control all of the other sound effects. This enables you to produce the sound of a phone ringing by pressing the telephone ringing button on the device in your pants pocket, through the cloth. Believe me, it produces a big laugh when you ask the spectator to imagine she hears the phone ringing...and she and everyone else actually hears it.
That's all there is to it. After you've closed the Blockbuster Wallet under the pretext of allowing the invisible ink to dry, wait a second or two and then open the wallet to the opposite side. Have the spectator remove the blank card, which she mistakenly assumes is the card with her invisible writing on it. Have the spectator fold the card and seal it in a small envelope. The spectator is requested to retain the envelope for safekeeping. Once you're alone, you develop the writing on the spectator's card and you're all set to feed the information back to her as described under the "Effect."
I can assure you, this is one of the boldest, simplest, most deceptive information getting devices ever conceived. Use it, you'll be happy that you did. There are quite a few other presentations that you can use in conjunction with the Blockbuster Wallet. Here's a couple to get you started. Take your pick. Both are extremely entertaining.
1. Obtain a "clock face" rubber stamp available in most stores that sell stock design rubber stamps. The clock design simulates a clock face with the exception of the "hands." To perform, print a "clock face" on the index or file cards on either side of the wallet.
During a pre-show encounter, have a spectator think of an hour and then, using the invisible ink pen, have him draw the hands on the face of the watch to represent the hour he is thinking of. If you have a quartz wristwatch, prior to showtime, simply set the hands on your watch to the hour the spectator has mentally selected and leave the stem pulled out. Why? Because quite a few quartz watches stop running when the stem is pulled out. Give it a try.
During your performance, have the spectator hold your wristwatch face side down in his hand. Ask him to reveal the hour he is thinking of. When he does so, have him call out the time showing on your watch.
2. During your pre-show meeting with a spectator, ask him or her to print the name of their favorite movie star on an index card, using an invisible ink pen to preclude the possibility of your seeing what he or she has written. After the spectator has sealed the card in an envelope and departed, develop the "hot" card you switched out and you're all set to do a little acting of your own.
During the performance you ask the spectator to imagine he or she is attending Hollywood's glittering Academy Awards presentation. After the show, he or she spots their favorite movie star and immediately moves in to ask for an autograph. At this point, you announce that you will attempt to place yourself in the spectator's mind and visualize the celebrity
at the moment they signed the spectator's autograph book. Approaching a large easel, the performer proceeds to correctly duplicate the signature of the spectator's favorite movie star.
My Favorite Blockbuster Routine
The performer asks three spectators to each think of a number over a hundred, but under a thousand. The performer announces that he believes he has mentally discerned each spectator's number. Picking up a pad, the performer jots something down and without allowing anyone to see what he has written, places it aside, writing side down. Opening a memo holder, the performer has each spectator write down the three digit number each is concentrating upon. A fourth spectator is asked to total the three numbers. The fourth spectator is then asked to call aloud the total, for example, 1,948. The performer picks up the pad and shows what he wrote just moments before...1,948.
As soon as the applause subsides, the performer announces that earlier in the evening he gave a member of the audience a sealed envelope to hold for safekeeping. The spectator is asked to join the performer on stage and to bring the sealed envelope with him. The spectator is asked to confirm that no one has had access to the envelope since it was remanded to him by the performer. The spectator is then asked to open the envelope and to read aloud what is printed on a sheet of paper it contains. The spectator reads the following: "The total of the numbers thought of by three members of the audience will be identical to the year in which you were born!" The performer asks the spectator to reveal the year in which he was born. The spectator replies, "1948." "An amazing coincidence," the performer notes. Continuing, the performer adds, "Did you know that quite a few famous people were born in 1948. Sadaam Heussein, Charlie Manson and Pee Wee Herman to mention a few." As the audience laughter subsides, the performer asks the spectator, "Did you at any time write down or reveal to me the sign of the Zodiac under which you were born?" The spectator acknowledges that he did not. "I have an impression that you were born under the sign of Leo. Am I correct?" The spectator admits that he is in fact a Leo. The audience applauds. "Concentrate on your month and date of birth. Were you born on August 13th 1948," the performer quickly inquires? The spectator admits that he was indeed.
The "How To"
The special addition cards and overhead projector pen enclosed are what I use. The lamination on the cards enables you to re-use the cards indefinitely, as long as you have the three spectators write their numbers using the wet erase Sanford Overhead Projector pen. These are readily available in any office supply store. The writing can be erased after your show using nothing more than a damp paper towel.
To begin, prepare a prediction as worded above. Seal it in an envelope. Place a blank 3" x 5" white file card in each side of the memo wallet. Armed with the memo pad and the invisible ink pen, seek out a spectator prior to your show. Give him the sealed envelope and ask that he hold it until you call for it during your show. Now, as explained previously, have him write the month, date and year of his birth on the file card, using the invisible ink pen. Switch cards as outlined earlier. Retrieve and develop the birth date information as soon as you are alone. Check the enclosed horoscope chart to determine the spectator's sign. Now, create three 3-digit numbers which when added together, will equal the year in which the spectator was born.
Insert the special laminated addition cards in either side of the Blockbuster wallet. On the card in side number two of the wallet, record the three 3-digit numbers in the spaces provided, altering the handwriting of each set of numbers to make it appear as if three different people wrote them. You are now set to perform.
Follow the description of the effect. As soon as you have written the number 1, 948 on the pad, place it aside. Open the memo pad and approach the first of the three spectators. Hand him the wet erase overhead projector pen and have him record his three digit number in the top row. Do the same with the next two spectators. Now, use the gag about the CPA to allow you time to switch sides of the memo pad. Have a fourth spectator, some distance away from the three whose numbers are recorded(?), total them. Finish as previously described.
Believe me, you will truly baffle and entertain an audience with this effect. I know, I've been using it for years. Incidentally, the spectator never does actually reveal his horoscope sign to you, so he's telling the truth in response to your question. Of course, he knows that he wrote his month, date and year of birth in invisible ink, but he thinks that information is on the card in his pocket. The audience on the other hand thinks that the spectator never revealed or wrote down any of the birth date information.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NEW MODEL OF THE CHAMELEON CHEST HAS A SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT BUILT IN COURTESY OF THE CREATIVITY OFMENTALISTSCOTTDEMING OF SYRACUSE, NY!
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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.