A: I'd have to say that some measure of belief in the existence of extra sensory perception and other paranormal occurrences is definitely helpful, but not absolutely necessary. The so called suspension of disbelief we've heard about over the years has never been very apparent to me in ANY of the many performances I've witnessed by both mentalists and magicians.
Likewise, too much pseudo-scientific jargon wears thin on today's sophisticated audiences.
Let your effects speak for themselves and allow your audience to decide what's genuine and what's not.
The first commercially successful effect that I created was called "Psycho." I gave the manufacturing and marketing rights to Al Cohen of Al's Magic Shop in Washington, D.C. while I was living in nearby Silver Spring, Maryland. I'm sure Al sold quite a few over the years. I subsequently improved the trick and marketed it as "Psycho II." Jeff Busby manufactured it and possibly still does. The secret is included in this volume. Essentially all of the variations that evolved enabled the performer to reveal which of five E.S.P. design cards had been selected and reversed in the packet. In fact, I've created so many variations, I've decided to relegate the effect to a final resting place. Therefore, I have tagged this, the final version, "Terminal Psycho."
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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.