"SERIAL NUMBER DIVINATION"
Using five new golden U.S. dollar coins, the performer purchases five $1 bills from members of the audience. Any spectator freely selects and quarter folds any one of the bills which is placed in the spring-top leather coin purse that previously held the golden coins. The purse is then held between the palms of the spectator's hands. Without hesitation, using clairvoyance, the performer records a serial number on a drawing pad. The spectator then opens the purse and removes his freely selected bill. Unfolding the bill, the spectator calls out the serial number, one digit at a time, as the performer records it beneath the number he previously wrote on the pad. Believe it or not, BOTH NUMBERS ARE IDENTICAL.
The spring-top Coin Purse, beautifully crafted by England's Roy Roth, is available for Just $40 plus $3.50 via priority mail. Overseas, please add $10 for airmail postage. Other killer routines fully explained. You'll never be without it!
GUARANTEED SATISFACTION •MONEY BACK GUARANTEE! Order from: Larry Becker • P.O. Box 6023 • Carefree, Arizona • 85377-6023
Note: The purse you have received is constructed differently than the ones I've used for over 20 years. First, the stitching is invisible. This means first sewing the edges and then turning the purse inside out before finishing it. The result is a more rounded interior that is better suited to, for example, accommodating the poker chips used in Casino Light. Second, the interior is lined. The leather is also softer than previous models.
There are two basic actions required to perform effects utilizing Becker Coin Purse. One is to open the purse in a "normal" fashion, enabling you to show the interior of the legitimate pocket of the purse. The other action simulates opening the purse in a normal fashion, but bypasses the legitimate interior, accessing the secret pocket instead. To the audience, both actions should appear identical.
First, to open the purse in a "normal" fashion, hold it in the left hand with the spring-top between the left thumb on one end and the left first and second fingers on the opposite end. The secret pocket side of the purse should be facing the left palm. Squeeze inwardly and the legitimate interior of the purse will "pop" open. Relax the pressure and the springtop snaps shut.
The secret move, to all outward appearances, simulates opening the purse in a normal fashion, but allows you to open the secret pocket instead. It's performed when you're required to remove anything from the secret pocket. To perform the secret move, hold the purse in the left hand with the non-pocket side facing the audience. The left end of the spring-top is held in the first joint crease of the left middle finger. The right end of the spring-top is held against the pad of the left thumb. Until you are ready to perform the "move" the left first finger should rest near the middle finger at the left end of the springtop.
To simulate opening the purse in the normal manner, but access the secret pocket instead, move the left first finger until it's resting behind the center of the spring-top. Now, push outward against the middle of both springs with the tip of the first finger. Simultaneously, squeeze inward with the left middle finger and thumb. What happens is the double spring top is bowed outward towards the audience while the secret pocket has snapped open. However, from the audience's perspective, the appearance of the purse is the same as if the purse had legitimately been squeezed open. (NOTE: I always "condition" the springs of the purse before they're shipped. When you receive them, the pre-conditioning should ensure that the secret pocket "snap" open when the double springs are pushed outward) Now, immediately, bring the left first finger back to the left where it once again rests at the upper left hand corner of the purse. The inward pressure of the left middle finger and thumb hold the secret pocket in an open position.
A slight upward motion of the left hand will cover any movement of the left finger as it first pushes the springs outward and then returns to its position at the upper left hand corner of the purse. Those of you who have seen me do the purse effect in person or on videotape will attest to the absolute "invisibility" of the move. Now, the right fingers can enter the secret pocket to extract the proper slip. Just be sure you keep the top edge of the purse tipped slightly back, away from the audience, to prevent them seeing the edges of the double springs as you reach into the purse (actually the secret pocket).
To simulate "closing" the purse after removing the slip, relax the pressure of the left thumb and middle finger, allowing the purse to straighten with a "snapping" sound as if the spring-top had actually closed. The illusion of sight and sound is extremely strong and very deceptive. Be sure you practice this move over and over until you have mastered it to perfection. Incidentally, even though I've pre-conditioned the purses by rapidly opening the secret pocket, closing same, and immediately reopening the purse in the normal fashion, they should be reconditioned prior to performing. I always do this several times to make sure the secret pocket pops open as its supposed to. The slight bend in the springs makes the act of performing the secret move much easier. Should the pocket ever fail to pop open, simply use the tip of the left first finger to reach down into the secret pocket and pull it open as inward pressure is applied by the left thumb and middle finger.
Naturally you should begin practicing the "move" slowly to get use to what must transpire to open the secret pocket. As you practice, gradually increase the speed of moving the left forefinger from the left end to the middle of the springs, and then back again. It won't take long before you will be doing it as fast and as smoothly as I do it. Over the years, when I've had the opportunity to demonstrate the "move" for performers who have the purse, they "get it" almost instantaneously once they see me do it. Trust me, a little practice and you'll be doing it seamlessly and invisibly.
The performer requests the assistance of someone in the audience, preferable someone with a vivid imagination. The spectator is invited on stage and is requested to imagine that he is in the jungles of Africa, completely surrounded by wild animals. As the performer names some of the animals, a Monkey, a Lion, a Tiger, a Giraffe and an Elephant, the spectator is asked to mentally select one of them. The performer asks the spectator to imagine that he is printing the name of the animal he is thinking of on a small slip of paper, which he is then to fold into quarters.
When the spectator has confirmed that he has done so, the performer removes a small squeeze type change purse from his pocket and shows that it is completely empty. The spectator is told to imagine that he is now placing his folded slip of paper in the empty purse. "By the way," the performer states, "just so we can identify the slip of paper as yours, should we ever get to see it, what was the name of the animal you are thinking of?" For example, the spectator replies, "the Lion!" The performer turns to the audience and says, "What the gentleman has just done was a figment of his imagination. What I'm about to do is reality." The performer opens the purse and immediately shows that a folded slip of paper has mysteriously materialized inside. The spectator is asked to remove the slip, confirm that there is nothing else inside the purse, and read aloud what is written on the paper. The spectator does so and it is seen that the slip contains one boldly printed word, Lion!
You'll need the Becker Coin Purse, which has been supplied. Also four slips of paper trimmed to 4-1/2" wide x 4" deep. To make these four slips fit inside the secret compartment in a step-down order after each has been quarter folded, leave one slip measuring 4-1/2" wide by 4" deep. The next smaller slip should be trimmed to 4-1/2" wide x 3-3/4" deep. The next, 4-1/2" wide x 3-1/2" deep. The fourth slip, 4-1/2" wide x 3-1/4" deep and the final slip, 4-1/2" wide x 3" deep. On the smallest slip print the word "Monkey." On the next largest, "Lion." On the next, "Tiger." On the next, "Giraffe" and finally on the largest slip, "Elephant." Quarter fold each slip and arrange them in "stepped" fashion. Place them in the secret compartment of the purse with the smallest slip first, and the next four behind it in the order of their size and you're all set to perform.
Simply follow the presentation as detailed under the "Effect." Once you have learned which animal the spectator is thinking of, you'll immediately know which of the folded slips to access. As soon as you've delivered the line, "What I'm about to do is reality," open the secret pocket, reach in with the right fingers and remove the proper slip. Because the five slips are in "stepped" order and since you previously memorized the order of the animals on the slips, it's extremely easy to quickly remove the one you need. Show that the spectator's slip has mysteriously materialized. Allow the purse to close.
Now, reopen the purse to the center portion and slip the paper back into the purse, allowing the springs to close on the slip, leaving a portion of it sticking out. Ask the spectator to remove his slip and as you extend your hand, squeeze the purse open legitimately allowing the slip to drop inside. Have the spectator remove the slip and confirm that there is nothing else inside. Once the spectator has read aloud the name of the animal printed on the slip, request it back so you can hold it up for all to see. This enables you to retain the slip for your next performance.
This is an extremely strong effect that plays well stand-up or close-up. Often I have outfitted the spectator with a pith helmet and utilized taped background sounds ofjungle noises to set the scene. As for entertainment, it's loaded with it, especially if you use the following gag that has served me well and has not been previously released.
Before the show, seek out a cooperative member of the audience and ask for their assistance during your performance. Explain that during the show you will give the spectator a choice between five wild animals. However, as a gag, when you ask him to name the animal he is thinking of, request that he reply, "Gertrude." Explain that this will give the audience a good laugh, but then, when you ask him, "What kind of animal is Gertrude?" he is requested to inform everyone which of the five animals he is thinking of. Thank the spectator and leave.
Once alone, print up the five slips as follows: "Gertrude the Monkey," "Gertrude the Lion," "Gertrude the Tiger," "Gertrude the Giraffe," and finally, "Gertrude the Elephant." Not only will you get a good laugh when the spectator apparently misunderstands your request that he "name" an animal, you'll also baffle everyone as to how you knew the animal's name was "Gertrude." Try this. It's a powerfully entertaining bit of business and quite a mystery in the bargain.
The performer randomly selects a member of the audience to join him on stage, and has him stand to his right. Removing a small black leather coin purse from his pocket, the performer opens it and removes a single, folded slip of paper. The spectator is invited to inspect the interior of the purse and confirm that it's otherwise empty. The folded slip is returned to the purse, which is then placed, between the outstretched palms of the spectator's hands for safekeeping.
The performer randomly invites five members of the audience to stand and verbally numbers them one through five. The on-stage volunteer is now asked to freely eliminate four of the five spectators by calling their respective numbers. As he indicates which of the five standing spectators is to be eliminated, that person is seated. Finally, only one person remains standing. This randomly selected person is invited on stage to stand to the performer's left. Retrieving the purse, the performer opens it and removes the slip of paper. The purse is shown to be otherwise empty. The spectator on the performer's right is asked to open the slip and to loudly and clearly read what is written on it. As the spectator does so, the performer turns and stares at the randomly selected spectator on his left. For example, the writing on the slip is as follows: "I Larry Becker predict that a young woman with blonde hair will be randomly selected during my performance. She'll be wearing a bark blue dress with white polka dots and blue shoes. Also a pearl necklace around her neck and a beautiful gold brooch."
The audience will gasp, because the description written on the slip perfectly matches the young woman standing next to the performer. You'll receive a tremendous hand for this startling mental effect. It's a killer.
The working by now should be apparent. Before your performance, wait until the audience is seated. Then, pick out five people in the first row, generally separated from each other by a person in between. Beginning on the left, write a description of this person, who you remember as "spectator number one," on the smallest slip of paper. Do likewise with the next four alternate persons, each description going on the next largest slip. When you're finished, assemble the slips into a "stepped" index and load in the secret compartment of the purse. Place the smallest slip in the genuine interior compartment of the purse.
Follow the presentation as outlined. When you've finished showing the slip in the purse and after the spectator has finished peering inside, allow the purse to close as you hold the slip up for all to see. Reopen the purse to the secret compartment side and insert the small slip back in its regular location, in front of the remaining four slips. That's all there is to it. When you spot which of the five spectators is left standing, remember his or her number in the row. Retrieving the purse and opening the secret pocket, remove the proper slip (you've mentally numbered them one through four beginning with the smallest slip) and you're home free. Everything else is as described.
This is one of the most devastating mental illusions you can perform. It's a great opener. It involves seven members of the audience, and the impossibility of your knowing in advance the description of any member of the audience so fairly selected is a mind-blower.
You're going to have to trust me on this. I've performed this effect before countless audiences. It has fooled the living daylights out of even those who own the "Becker Coin Purse." It'll appear as if it requires extreme "guts," but all it takes is a direct, forceful presentation.
To begin, you'll need five of the new U.S. golden dollar coins. Place these in the secret compartment side of the Becker Coin Purse. You'll also need a dollar bill, fairly new, but used. Memorize the serial number on this bill. If you have a problem doing this, print the number on a piece of Scotch brand Magic Tape using a fine point Sanford Permanent Ink marking pen. Place the tape around the barrel of a marker that you will use to write the serial number, at the conclusion of the effect. This will serve as your prompter. Quarter fold the dollar bill with the lighter side out. Place it in the normal center pocket of the purse. Place the loaded purse in your left hand jacket or pants pocket. Have an 11" x 14" pad or piece of Fomcor available to later write the numbers on.
To perform, remove the purse from your pocket and hold it in your left hand. The secret pocket side will face the left palm. State that you would like to purchase a few one-dollar bills. Ask the spectators to hold their bills in the air. (Actually, this enables you to purchase five bills that resemble your force bill in appearance). Explain that you will swap a new golden US dollar coin for each paper bill that you purchase. Open the secret compartment side of the purse as previously explained. While the pocket is open, shake the purse so everyone can hear the coins rattle about. Invert the purse so that the five coins drop out into the palm of the waiting right hand. Shake the purse to make sure all the coins have dropped out. This silently indicates that the purse is now empty. Allow the purse to snap shut and place it at an angle in your jacket handkerchief pocket so that most of the purse is left protruding above the top edge of the pocket. Now seek out those bills that look fairly close to your force bill. Swap a dollar coin for each dollar that your purchase. When you're finished, openly hand the five bills to a nearby sixth spectator and ask that she follow you back to the stage.
Have the spectator stand to your right. Ask her to select any one of the five bills after you've turned your head away, and to place the remaining four bills in your right hand jacket pocket. Be sure that your head is turned away so that you cannot possibly see which bill she selects to keep. With your head still turned away, ask her to fold the remaining bill in half with the lighter green side face out. This you explain is to make sure George Washington can't see what's going on. (Actually it's to make sure the serial numbers are hidden from view). Now ask the spectator to again fold the bill in half so that it is quarter folded. Request that she tell you when this is done. When she indicates that she has finished folding the bill, turn towards the spectator. The closed purse should be in your left hand. Ask for the folded bill.
Hold the bill at your extreme fingertips and slowly place it into the secret compartment. Do this very openly. You don't want anything to look suspicious. Especially when you aren't doing anything sneaky. Now, allow the secret compartment to snap shut. Then, as if an afterthought, hold the purse right under the spectator's nose and squeeze open the legitimate center compartment. Allow the spectator to look inside as you ask, "Can you see your bill?" Naturally, he'll say yes. This action accomplishes two things. It confirms that the bill is in the purse. It also shows the spectator how to open the purse by squeezing the spring-top between the thumb and first and second fingers. This is very important, as you will now see.
Ask the spectator to extend his hand, palms up. Place the purse, secret pocket side down on the palm of his left hand. Have the spectator sandwich the purse with his right hand, completely hiding it from view.
Walk to the easel and take out your trusty marking pen. The one with the serial number printed on the barrel. Appear to concentrate intently as you gaze at the spectator's cupped hands. Proceed to write a serial number boldly on the pad or piece of Fomcor. Naturally, you simply copy the number on the barrel of the pen (no need for memory here).
Step aside. Here comes the real work. Just gird your loins and do exactly as I say. I have never failed to get away with this devilish deceit. So just do it! Ask the spectator to "squeeze open" the purse and remove his bill. You heard what I said. Instruct the spectator to "squeeze" open the purse and remove the folded bill inside. If you use the words, "squeeze open" you'll refresh his memory, subconsciously directing the manner in which he opens the purse. Remember, you showed him how to open the purse just moments before. He'll squeeze the springs and naturally the only thing that can open is the legitimate center compartment of the purse. The bill he removes is your force bill. I have decimated magicians and non-magicians alike with this unmitigated, boldface swindle and so can you.
As soon as he's removed the bill, retrieve the purse and casually pocket it. Now have the spectator open and read aloud the serial number on his (?) freely selected bill as you record the number directly beneath the one you just wrote. You'll receive a big round of applause. There just doesn't seem to be any explanation for this clairvoyant miracle—it's that clean and worth a bundle to the working performer!
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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.