Using one of the patter stories that accompanied Don Wayne's excellent commercial effect, "Room Service," the mentalist states that recently he heard a story about how difficult it is for famous celebrities to protect their privacy. It seems that no matter how many precautions are taken, their fans not only discover at which hotel the celebrity is staying, but the very room number as well. No one seems to know how they do this. Is it E.S.P. or just plain luck? In either case, the mentalist continues, with the assistance of three volunteers from the audience, nine playing cards, a list of 24 world famous hotels and a hotel room key, he'll attempt an experiment to see if it can be done.
Inviting three spectators to assist in the experiment, the performer displays a hotel room key and places it in the handkerchief pocket of one of the spectator's jacket with the key exposed, hanging over the edge of the pocket. Displaying nine playing cards, the Ace through the Nine of Spades, in numerical order, the performer shuffles the packet of cards and has one of the spectators cut the packet several times. The cards are then dealt, one at a time, until each spectator is holding three cards. Anyone in the audience now selects any one of the three spectators on stage to hold a card containing the names of 24 different, world famous hotels.
The remaining two spectators are asked to mix their respective packets of three cards and to alternately call out the values of the cards they hold, in any order they wish. The performer records the values of the cards they call out, as three 2-digit numbers, one under the other on a large pad. Drawing a line beneath the three numbers, the mentalist asks one of the spectators to add up the figures. The spectator holding the list of hotels is also asked to total the value of the three cards he is holding. He calls out "15" as the total. The mentalist asks the spectator to call out the name of the hotel listed adjacent to the number "15" on the hotel list he is holding. He does so, calling out the Stardust Hotel.
The spectator who totaled the three 2-digit numbers is asked to call out the total which is revealed as "165." The performer recaps what has transpired, emphasizing the totally random selection of numbers. The spectator with the key protruding from his pocket is asked to remove same and read what is engraved on the key tag. It reads, "the Stardust Hotel—Room 165."
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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.