A. I'm not sure which "M" spot you're referring to, mental, Machiavellian, or mischievous, but the most recent triumph is "Casino Royale." As stated in the prelude to the explanation, it was inspired by a Copperfield illusion created by André Kole. The criteria I established was severe to say the least, absolutely NO gimmicks. The initial method, which involves a small amount of pre-show work, is the least tainted. The biggest challenge is to keep the action flowing at a good pace. There are three time-consuming choices required prior to the finish, but the impact on an audience is phenomenal.
As stated elsewhere in this book, one of the perks of publishing and marketing magic and mental effects are the comments, compliments and suggestions I've received over the years from my peers. While I was working a convention for Ray Goulet in Boston, fellow Psychic Entertainers Association member Richard Stride introduced himself and handed me an envelope. When I had an opportunity to examine the contents, I found that Richard had created a wonderful adaptation of my effect, "Reflecta-thot." Upon arriving home, I immediately contacted Richard and asked for his permission to include the improvement in this volume. Richard graciously consented and I subsequently added a killer finish which elevated the effect to a miracle class.
Those of you who have my first book, "Larry Becker's World of Super Mentalism," should be familiar with the effect. Five cards, each bearing one hundred different words (no two alike), are handed to a spectator. The words are numbered from 100 through 599. On the opposite side of each card is a single bold digit, 1 through 5. While the performer's back is turned the spectator discards any two of the cards. Then, he arranges the remaining three cards into a randomly selected three digit number. Using this number, the spectator looks up and concentrates upon the word next to the freely selected three digit number he created.
The performer states that he will use the spectator's mind like a dictionary. The spectator is asked to picture in his mind the definition of the word that he has looked up, almost as if he were staring at it on the page of a dictionary. Without hesitation, the performer calls out a definition. The spectator is asked if the definition given by the performer matches the word he is looking up in the dictionary of his mind. The spectator agrees that the performer did just that.
"Reflecta-thot" uses two extremely subtle principles. Both are, in effect, limited forces. By following the procedure outlined, the spectator is limited to 60 possibilities. These 60 known numbered possibilities are teamed with five sets of synonyms, that is, words that although different, can be defined in a singular fashion. Therefore, you only have to memorize five short definitions to be able to define any one of sixty words.
In the original routine, the performer learns which of the five possible definitions will fit the spectator's freely selected word with a "peek" innocently obtained while turning to see if the spectator is holding a card so that no one can see its contents but him. What Richard has done is eliminate the peek. He's also rearranged the words so there are only two to four synonyms for each word on a card, instead of twelve. In other words, in the original version, the twelve synonyms that could be defined, for example, as "A word having to do with great skill," all appeared on one card. Richard spread the synonyms throughout the five cards so that an eagle-eyed spectator has less of a chance to spot the similarity of meaning among the twelve words on any one card. However, both versions had one limitation. The performer only defines the spectator's word, he doesn't actually reveal the word. In time, however, it occurred to me how to reveal the freely selected word as well. So sit back and enjoy one of the finest word tests ever created. "Super Reflecta-thot."
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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.