To Perform

Follow the routine as previously outlined. I usually begin with the five cards inside the envelope, blank backs against the hidden window. After demonstrating the opacity of the envelope, open the flap and allow the five cards to drop out. When the spectator has finished mixing the cards face down and placed them in your pocket, turn away and have him remove one card. Hold the envelope in your left hand, behind your back with the seam side up. Tell the spectator to remember the design he has selected and to push the card, design side down, into the envelope.

Once this has been done, bring the envelope in front and with your middle finger, reach inside and push the card to the bottom of the envelope. Hold the envelope horizontally, with the flap end held down by the right first and second fingers. The right thumb is on the reverse, unseamed side. The seam side of the envelope should be facing the spectator. Position the left thumb over the secret window after you've noted the design on the card inside by the telltale portion showing through the single thickness of paper.

Lower the envelope so the unseamed side is face up. Using the right thumb to rub in a circular motion, draw attention to the opacity of the face of the envelope. Naturally, the left thumb is covering the window. Now, pick up a larger envelope and drop the smaller one inside without flashing the window side. Have the spectator seal the larger envelope.

All that remains is to fondle the nested envelopes as if you're extracting psychic impressions and draw the selected design. Ask the spectator confirm it's the one he has been concentrating on and take a bow.

Adios Psychos—may you all rest in peace.

This is one of those effects that best exemplifies the art of mentalism. The method is extremely subtle and the entertainment value is built-in. It originally appeared in the February 1987 issue of M.U.M. which featured yours truly on the cover and a section of effects contributed by several of my friends, including Dennis Marks. The prelude to Dennis' contribution was a panic. My wife and I were hysterical when we read it. For posterity, here's what Dennis wrote. "When you think of the name Larry Becker, what do you think of? That's right—his wife, April. She's the best thing about him. At the very least, the best looking. And that includes his props—especially his props (unless you're into black Lucite, chrome and sequins, and those are his card tricks!). Just think how hard April must work, taking a vicious little old man about three-feet-four, bald, toothless and poor and making him turn out looking healthy and tan, with thick wavy hair and bright pearly teeth set in a perpetual grin of success and satisfaction! That's some woman! And that's what I have to say about Larry Becker." Thanks Dennis. Only someone with a mind perverse enough to write "The Jetsons" movie could compose such a magnificent, sincere tribute to a friend.

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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