The performer states that over the years whenever he's asked someone to think of a playing card, invariably, one card has been thought of more often than any other. In fact, the performer continues, one card has been thought of so often, it has become his favorite. To demonstrate this, the performer states that he will wager $100 that anyone who engages him in a simple game of chance will think of this particular card. If the volunteer thinks of any other card, he or she will win the $100 bill. "However", the performer continues, "if the card that is thought of proves to be my favorite card, I get to keep my money and the volunteer will win a small consolation prize."
Selecting a young lady from the audience to join him on stage, the performer displays a jumbo deck of playing cards. Removing the cards and placing the box to one side, the performer spreads the cards as he explains that he wants the spectator to run through the pack, with the faces up, and to think of any one card that she sees. The spectator takes the deck and runs the cards from hand to hand with the faces up and thinks of a card. The performer retrieves the cards and asks the spectator to call aloud the card that she is thinking of. For example, the spectator replies, "The Four of Clubs." The performer exclaims, " Amazing, that's my favorite card!" As everyone groans in disbelief, the performer proceeds to remove the Four of Clubs and place it in his breast pocket by inserting one corner of the card into the pocket.
"No kidding," the performer states, "the Four of Clubs is my favorite card and I'll prove it. You'll notice that the faces of the cards are all different so you can tell one from the other." As he says this, the performer runs through the cards with the faces towards the audience. Squaring the deck and turning the backs towards the audience, the performer runs through the deck displaying the backs of the cards.
The performer explains, "And of course, the backs are all the same, just the way they came from the factory, all except one card which I marked earlier today, my favorite card, the Four of Clubs." The performer removes the four of clubs from his breast pocket and turns it around so the audience can see a big, bold "X" on the back of the card.
After the applause has subsided, the performer states that he did promise to award a small consolation prize if the spectator should fail to think of the performer's favorite card. Picking up the card case from the table, the performer asks the young lady to read aloud what is printed on the back of the case. The spectator does so and reads aloud the following poem:
I thought of Larry's favorite card And did it fair and square; So instead of winning money, I've won a teddy bear!
As soon as the spectator has finished reading the poem, the performer removes a large, plush Teddy Bear from a paper bag and hands it to the spectator as a consolation prize. Naturally, this will result in another round of applause as the young lady happily returns to her seat with her prize.
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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.