To perform

Follow the routine as described. Borrow a ring and secure it on the lock. Turn the combination wheels and hand the lock to the spectator for examination. As outlined previously, explain the spectator will use her extraordinary powers of ESP to open the lock. Display the nine number cards, one at a time. Now, double undercut the top card, transferring it from the top of the packet to the bottom. Hold the packet of cards in preparation for an overhand shuffle. The left thumb pulls off two cards from the right hand packet, one at a time, into the left hand. The cards in the right hand are now tossed on top of the cards in the left hand. The left thumb now pulls off three cards, one at a time, into the left hand. The cards in the right hand are tossed on top of the cards in the left hand. Finally, the left thumb pulls off two cards, one at a time, into the left hand.

The remaining cards in the right hand are tossed on top of the cards in the left hand. Hand the packet to the spectator and ask that she is to cut the packet anywhere she likes and to then complete the cut. She is instructed to then deal the packet alternately into three piles as if she's dealing three hands of poker. To further randomize the procedure, have the spectator eliminate any one of the three piles by handing it to you. Pocket the three cards and then tell the spectator to pick up either pile and to place it on top of the remaining pile. The spectator is then told to alternately deal the packet into three face down piles of two cards each. Now, the spectator is allowed to reassemble the three packets into one, in any order that she wishes.

Now, pick up a pad and marking pen. Have the spectator turn over the top card and call it aloud. Record it on the pad. Have the spectator duck the top card, turn the second card face up and call it out. The second digit is recorded to the right of the first making a 2-digit number. This is repeated with the next two cards which are also recorded under the first two. Finally, the final two cards become the third 2-digit number. Believe it or not, the sum total of these three 2-digit numbers will always be 165. Try it as described and see for yourself. The spectator is asked to set the combination on the lock to 1-6-5. Naturally it doesn't open. The performer opens the envelope supposedly containing the new combination.

After reading the forgetful spectator's message and remarking that he doesn't want to embarrass the person by identifying them (naturally there is no one to identify) the performer retrieves the lock and ring holding them horizontally between the left and right fingers. The left fingers hold the spectator's ring. The right fingers hold the base of the lock with the right thumb and forefinger resting on the third wheel. As the performer confirms that the lock will not open, by pulling the ring to the left and the lock to the right, the thumb and forefinger smoothly turn the third combination wheel down one click (it will now read 1-6-6).

With the slight movement of the hands, the action of the right thumb and forefinger will never be seen. Now place the lock and ring on the palm of the spectator's hand. Explaining that Uri Geller revealed to you the secret of moving an inanimate object, gently pick up the lock by the spectator's ring. The nice part of this is that the hasp of the lock will remain closed. Hold the lock up with the ring dangling beneath for all to see and appear to concentrate intently. Move your free hand around the lock as if directing some mysterious force. Give the ring a slight up and down shake and the lock will pop open. Remove and return the spectator's ring as you pocket the lock and acknowledge the applause.

Since I now purchase my locks wholesale by the dozen, I usually give the lock away as a souvenir, resetting the combination to 0-0-0 as I present it to the spectator with a slip of written instructions for setting their own combination. This totally eliminates any thought that perhaps the lock is gimmicked in some way. Incidentally, since these locks only retail for around $4-$5, it's a small enough investment to add this subtlety.

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The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

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.

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