The performer reaches into his pocket and removes a leather purse. Opening the purse, the spectator states that he is going to remove three invisible coins. A silver U.S. Half-dollar, a copper English penny, and a Chinese coin with a hole through its center. Designating anyone in the audience, the performer steps forward and pretends to hand the three invisible coins to the spectator. Returning to the stage, the performer states that he now wants the spectator to give away any two of the three invisible coins. One each to the persons on either side of the spectator. When the spectator has mimed this action, the performer asks which coin he gave to the person on his right. For example, the spectator says, "The Half-dollar". The performer asks which of the remaining two coins did he give to the person on his left. For example, the spectator states, "The English penny." The performer states that the two spectators on either side of him may keep the coins as souvenirs. This will invariably get a chuckle. That leaves the Chinese coin, the performer notes. The spectator agrees. At this point, the performer once again opens the purse and squeezes it open. The spectator is requested to toss his invisible Chinese coin into the purse. As soon as the spectator has done so, the performer asks the spectator to come forward and to extend his cupped hands, palms up. Inverting the open purse, a single coin is seen to drop into the spectator's hands. "What kind of coin is it?" the performer asks. The spectator replies, "A Chinese coin." The performer retrieves the coin and after displaying it, drops it back into the purse. (Note: if you wish, you could switch out the gimmicked purse as described previously, leaving the ungimmicked purse for examination, however, I don't feel that it's necessary).
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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.