The performer requests the assistance of someone in the audience, preferably someone with a vivid imagination. The spectator is invited on stage and is requested to imagine that he is in the jungles of Africa, completely surrounded by wild animals. As the performer names some of the animals, a Monkey, a Lion, a Tiger, a Giraffe and an Elephant, the spectator is asked to mentally select one of them. The performer asks the spectator to imagine that he is printing the name of the animal he is thinking of on a small slip of paper, which he is then to fold into quarters.
When the spectator has confirmed that he has done so, the performer removes a small squeeze type change purse from his pocket and shows that it is completely empty. The spectator is told to imagine that he is now placing his folded slip of paper in the empty purse. "By the way," the performer states, "just so we can identify the slip of paper as yours, should we ever get to see it, what was the name of the animal you are thinking of?" For example, the spectator replies, "The Lion!" The performer turns to the audience and says, "What the gentleman has just done was a figment of his imagination. What I'm about to do is reality." The performer opens the purse and immediately shows that a folded slip of paper has mysteriously materialized inside. The spectator is asked to remove the slip, confirm that there is nothing else inside the purse, and read aloud what is written on the paper. The spectator does so and it is seen that the slip contains one boldly printed word, "Lion!"
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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.