Magician/Mentalist Dick Newton writes: "Visual Aid is terrific! Your wonderfully clever idea makes it easy and fool-proofto use. It gets a great audience reaction and is a natural prelude to my closing bill routine. Thanks for a nice, clean, baffling effect."
EFFECT: The performer asks for the loan of an older $20 bill. The volunteer is asked to stand. Announcing that he wants the bill to be folded in a particular fashion, the performer states that he will use a visual aid to guide the spectator's actions. With both hands otherwise clearly empty, the performer displays both sides of a giant 5/14" x 121/2" replica of a genuine $20 bill and shows the spectator how he wants the bill folded (with the lighter side out). The performer then compares the folded size of the giant $20 bill with the size of the spectator's folded regular size bill in a humorous lesson in economics. When the laughter subsides, the spectator is asked to hold his folded bill between the palms of his hands. The performer proceeds to demonstrate the difference between intuition and telepathy. Through intuition (a guess) the performer estimates the total of the 8 serial number digits on the spectator's bill, missing only by one. Now, the performer demonstrates telepathy by having the spectator gaze at the serial number on his bill as the performer reads his mind.. .writing his impression of the serial number on the spectator's bill on a large pad. All of this is done with the spectator at a distance from the performer. Now, the spectator calls out the serial number on his bill which the performer records under his written impression. BOTH NUMBERS ARE IDENTICAL! The performer then presents the spectator with the giant $20 bill as a souvenir.
This is not only easy-to-do, it's a laugh-filled, baffling demonstration. You'll love the method which is sure-fire and invisible. Comes complete with detailed, illustrated instructions, giant $20 bills and that extra "something special" that makes it work like greased lightning. Only $30.00 + 5.00 S&H. Check, money order, Visa or Mastercard accepted (Include name, number & expiration date). Send to Larry Becker • P.O. Box 6023 • Carefree, AZ 85377. Phone or Fax: (480) 488-0980. This is a marvelously entertaining effect. Order it NOW!
Larry Becker's Professional Mentalism
Instructions for Visual Aid
The performer states, "Numbers, due to their simplicity, are among the easiest symbols to mentally transmit. Let me try to demonstrate... however, first I'll need the loan of a twenty dollar bill...obviously, the most difficult part of this experiment!" As soon as a spectator removes a $20 bill, the performer states, "Sir, please rise. (As soon as the spectator begins to stand, the performer continues) ... not in the air, sir... just stay where you are." Continuing, the performer removes a jumbo $20 replica from his pocket. The performer then proceeds to unfold and show the big bill on both sides. Sir, I want you to fold your $20 bill and to show you how, please follow my directions and do exactly as I do. Holding the jumbo $20 bill with the dark green side facing the audience, the performer folds it in half from left to right. The spectator follows suit."Be sure to crease the fold, sir", the performer states. The mentalist proceeds to fold the bill in half again, from left to right with the lighter side out. He instructs the spectator to do likewise and to crease the fold. Finally, the performer folds the jumbo $20 bill in half again. The spectator is asked to do the same. At this point, both the performer's jumbo bill and the spectator's bill are identically folded.
The performer states, "Ladies and gentlemen, I purposely had the gentleman fold his bill with the serial number inside. That will prevent me or anyone else from seeing it. But before we attempt the transmission of thought, I'd like to give you a brief lesson in economics. Sir, please hand me your $20 bill." As soon as the spectator hands his folded bill to the performer, the wonder worker places it against the folded jumbo bill holding both bills in full view of the audience. "This", the performer exclaims, "is what a $20 bill was worth 10 years ago." As he says this, the performer points to the large bill. "By comparison", the performer continues, "this is what a $20 bill is worth today!" As he says this, the performer points to the smaller bill belonging to the spectator.
Holding the large bill in his left hand, and the smaller bill in his right hand, the performer asks, "Sir, tell the truth, wouldn't you rather have this great big $20 bill instead of your teeny weenie one?" Naturally, the audience laughs at the obvious scam. The spectator states that he would prefer to keep his bill. "I see...you'd rather keep your teeny weenie", the performer replies with a Cheshire cat grin (use this gag for an adult audience and only if you deem it appropriate, otherwise leave it out)."One of these days, someone's gonna fall for that", the performer exclaims.
Pocketing the jumbo visual aid bill, the performer asks the spectator to come forward and to hold the $20 bill in his cupped hands. As soon as the spectator has the bill cupped between his hands, the performer turns to a flip chart on an easel, the performer states, "Ladies and gentlemen, the $20 bill my volunteer is holding contains an 8-digit serial number. To show you the difference between intuition and telepathy, I'm going to play a hunch and try and guess the total of the 8-digits hidden inside the bill the gentleman is holding." The performer proceeds to write a large "36" on the pad. "Please unfold your bill sir, and without letting me see the serial number, please add the 8 digits together and tell us their sum total." The spectator does so and states the total is "37." "That my friends is a pretty good guess. I was only off by one, however, let me show you what is possible with mind-to-mind communication or as it is commonly referred to, telepathy."
The performer asks the spectator to concentrate on the letter and first four digits in the serial number. The performer turns to a fresh sheet of paper and after a moments thought, jots down, for example, "B-4820." Glancing towards the spectator, the performer asks him to now concentrate on the last four digits and final letter. The performer boldly writes, "6629-G." The spectator is now asked to call off the letter and first four digits of his serial number. "B-4820", the spectator calls out. The performer writes them under the numbers he previously wrote. "Now sir, please call out the last four digits and the final letter." The spectator calls out, "6629-G." The performer writes them on the pad. Both numbers are identical. The performer then gives the spectator a souvenir of the occasion, the giant $20 bill.
Examination of the jumbo $20 bill you have received will reveal a secret pocket in the lower right hand corner of the light green side of the bill. Inside this pocket is a folded dummy bill. Do not touch the dummy bill in the pocket just yet.
You have also received a Dryline Temporary Adhesive dispenser. (Note: To apply a small amount of temporary adhesive to anything, see the photo and application instructions on the back of the box). It is this adhesive that makes the working of "Visual Aid" so smooth and trouble free. To see how easy it is to remove the dummy bill from inside the pocket, hold the folded visual aid bill with the pocket side facing you. Place the pad of your right thumb over the cut-out of the pocket, so the thumb is pressed against the small dummy bill in the pocket. Now, grasp the left edge of the big bill with your left hand (thumb on the cut-out side and four fingers on the other side) and simultaneously move your right hand to the right, dragging the dummy bill out of the pocket as the hands separate. Easy isn't it! The adhesive causes the dummy bill to adhere to the right thumb facilitating its removal from the pocket. Naturally, since the adhesive is of a temporary nature, the bill can be easily dislodged by the fingers. You can now dispense with the dummy bill provided and prepare one made from a genuine $20 bill.
Obtain a medium worn $20 bill (with no obvious marks or discoloration) and note its serial number on a sheet of paper. Now, fold this genuine $20 bill in the same manner as the jumbo "Visual Aid" bill, with the lighter side out. Place the folded bill on a table with the folded edge to the right (see illustration). Using the Dryline dispenser, place a small amount of adhesive where indicated by the "X" mark on the illustrated bill. Now, insert the folded genuine bill inside the pocket so that the adhesive on the bill is exposed in the thumb cut-out of the pocket. Fold the large bill and place it in the small plastic bag it originally came in. Place the bag in your left hand jacket pocket (the bag helps protect the exposed adhesive). You're almost ready to perform. You'll also need a large flip chart pad and easel. To eliminate having to memorize the serial number on your bill, write it lightly in pencil, as small as possible near the top edge of the pad. Or-write it on a piece of scotch tape using a fine point "sharpie" pen and affix it to the barrel of your felt tip marker. Fold one of the giveaway duplicate bills in the same manner as previously described. Place this bill in your inside right hand jacket pocket. You are now ready to perform.
I have purposely included suggested patter in the description of the "effect." Follow the effect as outlined to the point where you remove the "Visual Aid" from your left hand pocket. Be sure you remove the plastic bag with the cut-out portion of the secret pocket facing away from the audience. Squeeze the bottom edge of the bag with the left fingers and the bill will "squirt" upward and out of the bag, where it can be grasped by the right hand. Open the bill as shown in figure #1. Continue to open the bill as shown in figure #2, so the secret pocket will be hidden behind the left fingers as the bill is opened fully with the lighter green side facing the audience.
Show the lighter side of the bill for a moment, then release the right end of the bill and using the right hand, grasp the left end of the bill as the dark green side is turned towards the audience. The secret pocket is now just below the right thumb, with the cut-out facing you (See fig. #3). Now, tell the spectator to hold the bill the same way you are. Fold the bill in half, folding the left half in front of the right half (see figure #4). All folds are made away from you. Tell the spectator to crease the fold. The bill is again folded in half, left to right (see figure #5). Now, have the spectator fold the top half down as shown in figure #6. The secret pocket should now be facing you with the cut out on the right. Display the folded bill between the left thumb and fingers. Transfer the bill to the right hand, placing the right thumb over (hiding) the cut-out, pressing the pad of the thumb against the exposed adhesive on the folded $20 bill inside the secret pocket. Now, the spectator's bill and the Visual Aid bill are both folded in identical fashion.
Ask for the spectator's bill as outlined under the "Effect." Take it with your left hand. Turn your left side towards the audience and holding the Visual Aid bill with the secret pocket side facing the audience (the right thumb hides the cut-out), place the spectator's folded bill under the tip of the right thumb, as shown in figure #7. It's at this point that you demonstrate the relative difference in the purchasing power of the big bill and the small one. You are now ready to make the smoothest, sweetest switch you've ever executed. The timing of the switch is beautifully masked by the patter.
At that moment when you point to the smaller bill with your left forefinger and say, "by comparison...this is what a $20 bill is worth today"...your left side is still towards the audience. Simultaneous with the words, "is worth today"...turn your body so that you are facing the audience head on. The two bills are held momentarily in the right hand. The left hand now grasps the folded Visual Aid bill so the left thumb traps the left edge of the spectator's bill against the large bill(See fig. #8). Both hands now separate as the right thumb smoothly pulls the bill from inside the secret pocket as you say to the spectator, "Sir, tell the truth, wouldn't you rather have this great big $20 bill instead of your teeny weenie one?" In real time, the hands separate just as you say the word, "Sir." (The adhesive is what makes the switch so fluid. The bill literally clings to the right thumb as the hands separate with no fumbling).
Finish as previously described, placing your giant bill (with the spectator's bill behind it) in your inside right hand jacket pocket between the duplicate bill and your body. Now ask the spectator to hold out his cupped hands. Dislodge the bill from your thumb and simultaneously drop it into the spectator's cupped hands. Later, when you remove the big $20 bill to give to the spectator as a souvenir, be sure you remove the unprepared duplicate bill, farthest from your body.
Hopefully you have obtained my two volume video set, "Standing Ovation-the Mental Magic of Larry Becker." "Visual Aid" is clearly demonstrated and explained. Believe me, it's a lot easier to understand when you see it performed as opposed to reading how to do it. The old adage, one picture is worth a thousand words certainly applies here. I can't recommend this effect too highly. I absolutely love to perform it. It's practically angle proof if you keep your hands in front of your body. The adhesive eliminates any fumbling in withdrawing the bill from the secret pocket. If you're worried about the spectator later discovering something sticky on his bill, forget it. He'll have no idea where it came from or why it's there. Best of all, one dispenser of Dryline adhesive will last hundreds of performances. If you do work a lot, refills can be obtained at your local office supply store.
Note: Be sure you obtain an "old" $20 bill that matches the Visual Aid bill. The new $20's weren't in existance when this effect came out. If you want to update it, have both sides of a new design $20 bill blown up to the size of the enclosed bill, on a color Xerox. This is perfectly legal. It only becomes illegal when the reproduction is the same size as a real bill. Glue the two together leaving a portion open to serve as a pocket like the bill you received. That way, you'll be ready for either bill when they're presented by the audience.
Larry Becker's UTC system
(Universal Total Control) If you can do a legitimate overhand shuffle, you can do this!
How would you like to be able to force the numbers 9-15-17-18-19- 21 or 165 using just 9 number cards, numbered 1 through 9. And do it deceptively, cutting and legitimately shuffling the cards before allowing the spectator an extremely fair selection. Best of all, you're in total control no matter which of the force numbers you want to use. Each of the nine 2-7/16" x 3-9/ 16" cards is painstakingly made of three layers of paper and card stock, then laminated, ensuring that they are the right weight and thickness for overhand shuffling and will last for years. In addition, even though the cards are totally opaque and positively not marked in any way, you can also have the spectator shuffle them, fairly select one number and you'll immediately know the number selected. Several sneaky methods are provided. Imagine being able to use these nine cards to perform a variety of startling effects from close-up to stage. As they say in our biz...packs flat and plays big. The cards are not gimmicked in any way. They can be examined by the spectator from now to doomsday. They're just what they're supposed to be. Nine cards numbered 1 through 9 to guarantee that the spectator's choice is not only fair, but a totally random one. And they're designed for maximum visibility. With the UTC System you can also perform other killer effects.
A little bit of history. In the 70's I began to use the numbers 1 through 9 to force a one, two or three digit number. Over the years, I've created many routines that depended on the 9 card force. Most recently, in 1999, I released an effect entitled Virtuosity. For this effect, I utilized the 9 card packet to force a musical selection, which I then revealed by playing it on a miniature electronic violin. The number cards provided with that effect are the ones that I'm now packaging separately with the many variations and alternative uses that I subsequently developed. Naturally, the 9 card set is available at a fraction of the cost of the violin effect...but the uses are much more versatile. If you purchased Virtuosity and already have the cards, the instruction manual for UTC is available separately for $12.50 plus 3.50 postage. I know that you will be tickled pink with UTC. It is simple, well made, easy to use, innocent in appearance and it will enable you to accomplish a multitude of effects. Once you're familiar with the system, I'm sure you'll be creating your own effects. But, for the less adventurous, there are the routines that I have used very successfully, for close-up situations as well as cabaret and stage.
Larry Becker's UTC (Ultimate Total Control) comes complete with nine laminated number cards, carrying case and of course, a detailed instruction manual. Only $35 plus 3.50 priority mail. Visa and Mastercard accepted. Overseas, add $10 extra for airmail. Order today from Larry Becker • P.O. Box 6023 • Carefree AZ 86377 • Phone/Fax: (480) 488-0980
The UTC System
Much trial and error went into creating a number card that would respond well to an overhand shuffle. Not too thick, not too thin. The cards, which consist of three layers, have been laminated for two reasons. First, so they last for a long time. Second, to make the backs of the cards reflective. That's also why the cards were designed with black backgrounds and white numerals. That combination also makes the numerals highly visible to the audience. I tried every color combination possible, but the black and white worked the best. Try it. Hold one of the number cards in your left hand, number side down. Take a second number card and hold it so you can see its reflection in the back of the face down card. I'll cover the details on this later on relative to lighting, misdirection, etc. And what to do under adverse conditions.
Suggestion for dry hands:
For some time I used "Sortqwik" a substance used by bank tellers to facilitate counting paper currency. What's works better, and doesn't leave any residue on the cards, is a feminine hygine product called, "Vagisil" Intimate Moisturizer-Clear Lotion. I carry it in a small plastic squeeze bottle. Before performing, I place a small amount in the left hand and quickly rub it over the left fingertips until it's pretty much absorbed. It's very effective when the effect requires an overhand false shuffle. Vagisil is available at your neighborhood drug store.
I have the nine number cards in numerical order in a small vinyl case. You could also just place a rubber band around them. Regardless of how you secure them, place the packet of nine number cards in your outside left hand jacket pocket.
You're ready to go to work. The following describes using the packet in its Reflective Mode.
Randomly select a member of the audience to assist you. You can, of course, use the time honored method of turning your back to the audience and tossing something light (a brick will never do) like a knotted napkin, over your shoulder. Then facing the audience you ask the person who caught it to stand. Have this person toss the napkin over his or her shoulder and the person who catches it is the one that you ask to join you on stage. In any event, the selection of the spectator is obviously a random one that you could not possibly control. Remove the nine number cards and holding them in your left hand, with the numerals facing the audience, count the cards one at a time into the right hand. Hand the packet to the assisting spectator who should be standing to your right. Ask the spectator to examine and thoroughly mix the cards, number sides down, in the best way they know how. As you say this, mime an overhand shuffle to subliminally help them. When the spectator has done as requested, inquire if he is satisfied that the cards are well mixed, and that neither of you could possibly know the location of any particular number. As he agrees with your statement, extend your left hand, palm up. The spectator should respond by placing the packet, number sides down on the palm of your hand. If not, tell him to do so. Grasp the packet with the right hand, the right thumb at the inner short edge and the remaining four fingers at the outer short edge. Announce that you will now move one card at a time from the top of the packet to the bottom...and at any time that he wishes...the spectator is to call, "stop!"
Begin to transfer the cards one at a time, using the left thumb against the back of the top card to slide the card off the packet into the palm of the left hand. The left hand then deposits the card on the bottom of the packet. This is repeated with each card in the right hand packet until the spectator calls, "stop!" At that point, the right hand lifts the packet so the bottom card is facing the spectator. Ask the spectator to please (remember to be polite) remember the number he randomly selected from a packet of cards that he thoroughly mixed. As he's doing this, the right pointer finger which is resting at the top of the packet, moves over the top of the packet and pulls approximately half (it doesn't really matter how many) of the packet towards the performer in anticipation of the performer cutting the packet. The right hand, with the packet partially separated at the top edge, begins to move in a downward arc towards the waiting, palm up, left fingers. As the packet nears the left fingers, the right forefinger the crotch of the left thumb. The right fingers bring the lower half of the packet up and over the half being held in the crotch of the left thumb. It's at this moment, as the right fingers deposit the half packet it holds onto the half in the left fingers, that the all important peek is obtained.
Again, to clarify the position of both hands at this moment...the former top half of the packet is in the left hand. This packet should be slightly tilted down with the back of the left hand facing the audience. The approaching half in the right fingers should approach the cards in the left hand, slightly tilted upward. If you were to glance at the back of the top card of the packet in the left hand, you should clearly see a reflection of the spectator's number on the card held in the right hand. (This painstaking description describes nothing more than the action of simply cutting the packet of cards number sides down).
Just as the right hand half packet is approaching the left hand half packet, stop when the two hands are approximately four inches apart, freeze both hands as you say, "By the way..." As you say this, get your glimpse of the reflected number and immediately begin to turn your head towards the spectator (directing everyone's attention towards him). Continue the statement, "you do remember the number you looked at, don't you?" If he answers in the affirmative, drop the right hand packet onto the left hand packet without looking at them. If he says he forgot, simply bring the right half back up so he can once again see his number, then proceed to drop the right half onto the left half without looking at them.
The glimpse takes only a fraction of a second, but that's all it takes to see the reflected number. Believe me, the misdirection pulls all attention away from you and directs it at the spectator. Timed right, they'll never realized you had time to see anything, much less a reflected image in the back of the card. By now, you're probably wondering, what if lighting conditions make it impossible to see the reflected image. Well, I always check the lighting conditions before the show. It only takes a second, and nobody knows you're doing it anyway. But, in the slim possibility that lighting conditions are really bad (of course, how will they be able to see you?) there are alternative methods. We'll cover those later.
In the meantime, you can now place the packet of cards aside or in your pocket and continue with the routine you are performing.
An excellent way to use the number cards as described is to have a list of nine items on a card which is displayed in full view of the audience. The items could be nine different cities next to the numbers 1 through 9. At this point, you would ask the spectator to concentrate on the city next to the randomly selected number he has in mind. Since you already know which number he's concentrating upon, you can now reveal it a piece at a time. For example, if the city is Paris, begin to describe things you would see in Paris, for example, a large tower of some sort. You know the drill. Obviously, you could use 9 of anything. Automobiles, colors, names, celebrities or musical selections. You could do a newspaper headline revelation by displaying nine famous historical headlines. Whatever you decide on, make it as dramatic a revelation as possible. By using the reflective nature of the cards as described, it doesn't make any difference which number card is selected. And since the cards can be freely shuffled by the spectator, it makes for a very baffling presentation. Now, for those situations where the lighting is extremely poor, here are the variations. To begin, we'll continue with a list of 9 items.
Now, using your packet of number cards, we move into the force mode. The first force number will be the number "9." By the way, the false overhand shuffle utilized was first brought to my attention by Tom Daugherty of Covington, Kentucky. I believe Tom published it in Harry Lorayne's Apocalypse as, "The Daugherty Shuffle." We swapped a lot of material at the time and his effects were extremely clever. The second part of the principle should be credited to Richard Vollmer. Naturally, I've put in my two cents worth along the way. Here's how it goes.
To begin, arrange the cards in numerical order, from the top down, 1 through 9. Begin by stating that you have a packet of nine cards numbered 1 through 9. State that in a moment you're going to mix the cards and deal four piles of two cards on the table. The total of each pair could be anywhere from 3 to 17...and since there's an odd card, it could be any number from 1 through 9...so let's mix up the numbers. You are now going to do an overhand false shuffle. Don't freak out...it's actually a legitimate overhand shuffle, it just marches to the beat of a different shuffle.
Here's how to genuinely overhand shuffle, falsely.
Hold the packet face down in the upturned left hand with the left thumb on top and the remaining four fingers, on the bottom. The packet is slanted upward (toward your right shoulder) at a 45 degree angle. The right hand grasps the packet with the right thumb at the inner (closest to you) narrow end of the packet and the remaining three fingers along the outer narrow end of the packet. The left thumb presses against the back of the top card. The remaining four fingers of the left hand press against the bottom card of the face down packet. Now, the right hand strips (pulls) out all the cards between the top and bottom cards, which come together in the left hand because of the pressure of the left thumb on the top card and the remaining four fingers on the bottom card. The left thumb is lifted slightly as the right hand brings the packet of seven cards between the left thumb and the back of two cards just pulled off into the left hand (the original top and bottom cards).
The left thumb drags off the next card on top of the right hand packet drawing it onto the first two cards as the right hand repeats its upward motion and then down to insert the remaining six cards on the right hand packet, under the left thumb which simultaneously raises up slightly to accommodate the incoming packet. The left thumb is again pressed against the top card of the right hand packet as the right hand withdraws the remaining five card packet. This is repeated a total of four times and the only difference between each shuffle is the number of cards being shuffled off the deck. In other words, after the top and bottom cards are in the left hand, four cards are dragged off the right hand packet by the left thumb, one at a time, onto the two cards in the left hand, the former top and bottom cards. After four cards have been shuffled off, the remaining cards in the right hand packet are tossed on top of the cards in the left hand.
The same sequence is immediately repeated a second time, only this time, three cards are shuffled off the right hand packet, one at a time, into the left hand and the remaining cards are then tossed on top. The first two shuffling sequences are now repeated...first four cards, then three. If you know how to overhand shuffle, it's very simple. The count after the first two cards are simultaneously pulled into the left hand is four cards, one at a time--(toss balance of the cards on top)--pull off the top and bottom cards--then three cards, one at a time--(toss balance of cards on top)--then four cards, one at a time, (toss balance of cards on top)--then three cards, one at a time--(Toss balance of cards on top). This is the Daugherty Shuffle to the count of 4-3-4-3. The cards are now back in their original face down, numerical order: 1 through 9. And the four shuffling sequences are genuine and take between 10-12 seconds. It just takes forever to explain.
You have now shown the nine cards and then shuffled them. But of course, they're back in the same order they were originally. Now, to force the number "9." Holding the apparently well shuffled face down packet in your left hand, deal the cards one at a time in a row on the table, from left to right until you have dealt four cards in a row. They will be the 1,2,3 and 4. Pause a second as you look at the spectator and state, "we'll make four pairs of cards." Now, deal the next card, the 5, on top of the fourth card (the 4) and dealing from tight to left, deal one card at a time onto the remaining three cards. If the cards were face up, you'd see that the 6 goes on the 3, the 7 on the 2 and 8 on the 1. Each pair of cards adds up to "9." When you've finished dealing the four pairs, you'll have the 9 left over. State, that since there an odd number of cards, you'll place the final card at the end of the row. Note that the totals possible with the four pairs could range anywhere from 3 to 17. And the final "odd" card could be any number from 1 through 9. Ask the spectator to pick up and pair of cards...or the odd card. He has a totally free choice. If he picks a pair, explain that in numerology, all multiple digit numbers must be reduced to a single digit, so he is to add the values of the two cards he's holding and remember the total. Of course, if he has picked up the single card (the 9), you instruct him to remember it. In short, you have legitimately shuffled a packet of number cards and dealt them in a row on the table, and the spectator has had an absolutely free choice to select a number. You've neatly and cleanly forced the number 9.
Variation #2: Now that we've cleared the air with an explanation of how to overhand shuffle the packet, let's move on the out ability to force different numbers, using most of the same procedure as already described. In fact, the shuffle remains the same. Incidentally, while I gave a count of 3-5-3-5 for performing the Daugherty legitimate/false overhand shuffle...you can also vary the count to give a randomness to the shuffle. For example, you could substitute a count of 5-3-5-3, or 4-6-4-6, or 4-3-4-3. No matter which count you use, the packet of nine cards will be in the same order you began with. It's this principle that we will now continue to expound upon.
Let's force the number 15. To begin, the cards are in numerical order from the top down. After 'you've displayed the faces of the numbers to the audience, state that you'll give the packet a quick mixing. Do the false overhand shuffle sequence. Now, hold the packet face down in the left hand. Place your right thumb against the inner narrow end (closest to you) and the remaining The right forefinger and index finger are holding the outer, narrow end of the packet. Now, you're going to use the left thumb and remaining four fingers to remove the top and bottom cards of the face down packet in the right hand, simultaneously. Place the left thumb on top of the packet and the remaining left fingers on the bottom. Pull off the top and bottom cards of the packet together towards the left, and place them down on the table as a pair of cards. I do this so smoothly, most people don't realize that the pair is made up of the top and bottom cards. It all happens so fast, you can give the perception that the two cards came from the top of the packet. Now, repeat this procedure, each time, depositing the pair in a row to the right of the first pair. When you've finished, the face down pairs will be made up of 1+9, 2+8, 3+7, 4+6 and the single odd card will be the 5. Clever huh? Now you ask the person to place the face down odd card on top of any one of the four pairs.
Turn your back as this is done. Tell him to total the values of the three cards in that pile and to remember the sum total. Naturally, no matter where he places the 5, the total will automatically be 15. Tell him to replace the three cards on the table and to gather all the cards into one packet. Now, with your back still turned, you have him shuffle the packet. You have very simply and very cleanly forced the number 15...and destroyed the evidence in the process. Think about it, you could now draw everyone's attention to a list of 24 anything you want (see the previous listing of list ideas). Naturally, when you ask him to concentrate on the object next to his secret total (it'll be the 15th item on the numbered list) you can proceed to reveal it in any way that you wish.
Let's force the number 18. Once again, begin with the display of the face of the numerically ordered packet. Overhand false shuffle the packet using any of the previously explained sequences. Now, deal four cards, one at a time, in a row from left to right. Pause as you say something about making four pairs of cards. Deal the next top card, the 5 on the 4, the 6 on the 3, the 7 on the 2, the 8 on the 1. This leaves you with the face down 9 in your right hand. Same as before, ask the spectator to place the final odd card on any pair. As above, the resulting total will be 18 in ever instance. Now, you can force the 18th item in your list. Terrific for repeat performances, since a different object is the target object.
This is not a force, but the resulting pairs are in a predictable order. So, if you know which pile the "odd" card is placed on, you'll know the resulting total. I'll explain the procedure, then show you how to be able to use the four resulting totals, 15, 17, 19 and 21.
Begin by showing the cards in numerical order. False shuffle as explained previously explained. Deal the cards, one at a time from left to right until you have dealt a row of four faced down cards (the 1-2-3-4). Now return to the left and deal the fifth card on the 1, the sixth card on the 2, the seventh card on the 3 and the eighth card on the 4. Reading from left to right the totals of the four pairs is 6, 8, 10 and 12. The 9 will be the remaining odd card in your left hand. You can see that if the odd card (the 9) is added to the 6, the resulting total will be 15. Added to the second pair produces a total of 17. Added to the third pair results in a total of 19 and finally, 21. So the order of possible totals, from left to right, is 15-17-19 and 21. Here's how to use this procedure.
After you've handed the spectator the ninth, "odd" card, ask him to place it on any pair that he wishes. Begin to turn away, but time your turn so you catch a glimpse of which pile he has placed the "odd " card on. That's it, you now know the final total. Now, you're going to do an object duplication. Make up a list of 24 objects (see artwork at the end of the explanation). Since you know that the spectator will end up with a total of 15, 17, 19 or 21...the rest is duck soup. Simply ask the spectator to confirm that there are 24 different objects listed on the card. He will answer in the affirmative. Ask him to memorize the object next to the number he is concentrating upon, which is the total of the three cards he randomly selected. Turn and hand the spectator a drawing pad and a marker. You pick up a second pad and marker. You stand back to back with the spectator (really fun when it's a "she"). Tell the spectator to visualize the object he is concentrating upon and to draw it on his pad. Let's say his total is 21. He draws a "doughnut." So do you.
Hold your picture against you chest and instruct the spectator to do likewise. One the count of "3" you tell him to show what he drew to the audience. Naturally the are practically identical. This is an outstanding design duplication. It's simple to do and extremely fair. The spectator has an apparently free choice of number. He confirms the 24 objects are totally different from one another (he doesn't know about the drawing bit). And you read his mind!
Let's assume that for whatever reason, when your performing using the reflective principle, you can't see the reflected image of the spectator's chosen number. At the point where you've asked the spectator if he can remember his number, and the two packets are 4-5 inches apart, disregard his answer by saying, "I want you to be absolutely sure." At this point, there's a packet in either hand. Move the left hand packet towards the right hand packet and with the tips of the right fingers, slowly remove the bottom card of the right hand packet, holding the lower left corner of the packet between the left thumb and forefinger. Extend your left hand towards the spectator and ask that he take his card, being careful that no one sees what number is on it. At this point, even you have no idea what his chosen number is.
As soon as the spectator has taken his card, ask that he stare at it for a moment until he's satisfied he won't forget it. As he does this, reassemble the two halves of the packet and hold it in the palm of your right hand. Now extend the packet towards the spectator and suggest that he replace his card, number side down, on top Quickly perform the e overhand Daugherty Shuffle without ever looking at the cards. Use any sequence that will return the packet to its original order, for example, 3-4-3-4, and then legitimately shuffle the top card to the bottom of the packet.
You are now going to perform what I call the "Breast Pocket Peek." Simply hold the shuffled packet, face down in the left hand. Reach for the packet with the right hand, thumb underneath, and the remaining four fingers on top. Grasp the packet and immediately carry it towards your breast jacket pocket. Naturally, the spectator's card will be on the bottom, perpendicular to the floor and fully visible as the right hand approaches the pocket. You will have to try this to understand how peripherally you can glimpse the identity of the number on his card. The left fingers hold the pocket open as the right hand deposits the packet into the pocket. This is a quick, simple, angle-proof and effective way to glimpse the spectator's number. To the audience it will appear that you simply shuffled the packet and put it away in your breast pocket. Then finish as previously outlined.
While the above emergency procedure will probably never have to be used as such, it should be performed without any awkwardness or hesitation. And while it takes a ton of words to explain, the actual procedure takes just a moment or two.
The performer borrows a spectator's ring and locks it on a changeable combination luggage lock. He explains that just before showtime he had a member of the audience change the combination on the lock and to prevent any problems, wrote the combination of a slip of paper. The performer removes a folded slip of paper and places it on the table in full view.
The performer displays nine cards bearing the numbers 1 through 9. The cards are shuffled and the spectator is asked to cut the packet and deal the cards into three face down piles. To ensure the final result is purely a random one, the spectator is asked to eliminate any one of the three piles. He is then instructed to pick up either of the remaining two piles and to place it on top of the other. The spectator is now asked to once again deal the packet of cards into three piles of two cards each. Finally, the spectator is allowed to reassemble the cards, in any order that he wishes, into one pile. The performer picks up a pad and marking pen. The spectator is asked to turn over the top card of the packet and to call it out. The performer records it on the pad. This is repeated with the second card thereby creating a 2-digit number. The third and fourth cards are turned over and called aloud enabling the performer to record a second 2-digit number under the first two numbers. The same procedure is followed with the fifth and sixth numbers which are recorded by the performer under the first two pairs. The performer quickly totals the three 2-digit numbers, for example 165. The spectator is asked to quickly set the combination on the luggage lock to 1-6-5. "Pull on the shackle and see if the lock opens?", the performer states. The spectator does so, but the lock fails to open. The performer says, "Not to worry, The new combination is right here on this folded slip of paper. He hands the paper to the spectator and asks him to open the paper and use the correct combination to open the lock. The spectator does so, but when he reads aloud what's printed on the slip of paper, the audience laughs. What was read aloud was, "I FORGOT IT!"
The performer feigning great discomfort suggests that if the spectator gets a piece of chain he can wear his ring around his neck like a pendant. Again the audience laughs. The performer states that like Uri Geller, he possesses the ability to move inanimate objects with the power of his mind. Carefully picking up the spectator's ring which is secured by the lock, the performer appears to concentrate intently on the lock. Suddenly the performer gives the ring a slight shake...and the lock mysteriously pops open and the ring is removed and returned to the volunteer.
You'll need a Master Cabinets & Luggage lock, model #647D. I purchased my locks in Walgreens. The reason I recommend this particular lock is because the combination wheels turn from number to number with a firm "click." This is vitally important to the successful performance of the effect. Also required are the nine number cards showing the digits 1 through 9. Arrange the nine cards in numerical order 1 through 9. The top card of the face down packet is the number 1. Prepare a prediction as described. Fold it and keep it in your pocket. Set the opening combination on the lock (the instructions tell you how) to 16-6. Leave the shackle of the lock in the open position. Put the cards in your pocket. Place a pad of paper and a marking pen on the table and you're all set.
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 cardtransferring it from the top of the packet to the bottom (Note: if you don't know how to do a double undercut, no problem. Hold the packet of cards in preparation for an overhand shuffle. If you didn't cut the top card to the bottom, simply begin the overhand shuffle by pulling off the top card into the left hand, and toss the remaining cards on top.
If you did double undercut the top card to the bottom, ignore shuffling off the top card and begin as follows: 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.
Retrieve the lock and holding it horizontally with the right thumb resting on the third wheel (with the ring end to your left) you're all set to pull the scam of the century. As you begin to place the lock and ring on the table, ever so casually, move the third dial down, one click (it will now read 1-6-6) and place both on the table. This entire sequence takes a split second. It should appear that you simply put the lock and ring on the table. Have the spectator pick up and read aloud what's written on the folded slip of paper. As soon as the laughter stops, make the crack about using the ring as a pendant. Now gently pick up the lock by holding the spectator's ring. Hold the lock up for all to see and appear to concentrate intently. State that fortunately you also know world famous psychic, Uri Geller. Move your free hand around the lock as if directing some mysterious force. Give the ring a slight up and down movement and the lock will pop open. Remove and return the spectator's ring as you pocket the lock and acknowledge the applause.
The force of the number 165 can be used for many other effects, but it's time for you to use your imagination. Hopefully you've found a lot of useful, practical material here. It has all served me well over the years. Now it's your turn. Incidentally, over the years I've used this 165 force to perform Don Wayne's "Room Service." All it takes is the number cards and an engraved key and key tag with the name of "The Stardust Hotel" Room 165 engraved on it. The name of the Hotel is one of 24 well know hotels. The "Stardust Hotel" is number 15. When you have the spectator discard one of the 3 3-card piles, hand it to a spectator holding the hotel list. Since each pile of 3 cards totals "15",,, later you simply ask that spectator to call out the name of the hotel next to his secret number. That's it. You've not only forced the room number, but also the hotel it came from. Enjoy.
Oh yes, you can also use the 165 and 15 force numbers to perform Ned Rutledge's great effect. Have a list of 24 grocery items, complete with prices. Place an item that currently sells for $1.65 next to the number 15 on the list. Place the actual item itself in a grocery bag. Put a bogus store receipt bearing the name of the product and the $1.65 price in the bag also. Naturally, after you've forced the 165 and 15, you reveal your real life prediction by having someone remove the grocery item and sales slip from the bag and reading aloud the price you paid for the item. That's it. I'm tired of typing. Now, you can really enjoy the UTC System.
To construct an object list of 24 different objects, make 2 Xerox copies of the artwork below . Spray the back of one sheet with Krylon All Purpose Spray Adhesive. Affix the sheet to one side of an 8-1/2" x 11" 60# white index card stock (available at stores like Office Depot). Do the same with the second xerox copy, to the opposite side of the card stock. Now, using a sharp x-acto blade, trim each of the above cards along the edge of the black. You now have two 24 object cards (one for a spare).
Laminate each card using adhesive backed laminating film. Also available at your local office supply store. You're now ready to use Variation # 4 which forces the spectator to create the number 15, 17, 19 or 21. If you check above, #15 is a Metal Washer. #17 is a Mint Lifesaver. #19 is a Rubber Tire. #21 is a Doughnut. No matter which of the above four numbers is selected, it can be drawn with two circles, one inside the other. Yet, because of all the different objects listed, this similarity in shape is totally overlooked. Until it's too late.
For another version, prepare the second set of object lists (illustration follows) in the same fashion as described previously. Laminate them and you'll be all set to perform either one.
(2) MOTOR BOAT
(3) PALM TREES
(4) WOODEN MALLET
(5) ALARM CLOCK
(6) LEAD PENCIL
(7) PICTURE FRAME
(11) COFFEE POT
Another design duplication:
The above 2-sided object list forces three objects. Numbers 12, 15 and 18. Once again, all three can be drawn with two circles, one inside the other. The reason this is especially effective is because there are only three objects, they are further apart, and once again, the three piles individually add up to three different numbers. To perform this limited force, show the number cards in numerical order from the top down. Overhand shuffle, falsely, using a 3-5-3-5 sequence, or a 4-6-4-6 sequence as previously described. Do a false triple cut. Sounds ominous, but it's quite easy. When you're finished the false shuffle, and the cards are back in their original order, retain the packet in your right hand between the thumb on one long side and the remaining four fingers on the other.
Keep the pinkie finger loose and away from the packet which is now held by three fingers on one end and the thumb on the other narrow end. The numbers should be facing the palm of the right hand. You are now going to swivel cut the bottom third of the packet, using the right forefinger. Using the tip of the right forefinger, place it at the upper right corner of the packet and pick off approximately a third of the packet, pulling the corner away from the packet. This third of a packet is transferred to the left hand between the thumb and the first finger. Slap the packet face down on the table. Repeat with another third of the packet and slap it on the face down pile on the table. Finally, slap the remaining third on top of the tabled pile. You have just performed a triple false cut. Practice it until it flows real smooth.
The shuffle, dealing and cuts are all very convincing. I remember when I was lecturing at England's Magic Circle in November '99 (I have recently been elevated to MIMC. A prestigious degree in the Society) I unconsciously did the triple false cut, but forgot to explain it. But it didn't take long before I heard a voice from the rear, "But Larry, about that triple cut. Would you mind explaining that?" I wasn't trying to be cute, I'm just grooved to do it without thinking.
Ask the spectator to pick up the shuffled and cut packet and deal it alternately into three face down piles, as if she was dealing three hands of poker. Turn away as you instruct the spectator to pick up any one of the three piles. Tell her to total the three numbers, remember the total, and to then gather the three piles together and quickly mix them up. Now have the spectator discard the packet and look up the number she has in mind, the total of the three cards she randomly selected while your back was turned, on the object list of 24 different objects. Be sure to have her confirm that the objects are all different from one another. Pick up two sheets of Fomcor and two markers and hand one of each to the spectator.
Stand back to back with the spectator and ask her to draw the object she just looked up on the object list. When you both are finished, turn and ask her to keep the board, drawing side against her body. Then on the count of three, you both are to turn your drawings toward the audience so they can see what you have drawn. As soon as the drawings are hidden from the audience's view, ask the spectator to reveal aloud the object she has drawn. Remember, while you know how to draw the same object as the spectator, you don't know which of the three objects she selected. Naturally, on the count of three you both turn your drawings toward the audience and the two drawing should be almost identical.
Prostate Cancer Communication Resource, Inc.
A non-profit prostate cancer information & education organization
P.O. Box 6023 Carefree, AZ 85377-6023 Phone & Fax: (602) 488-0980
President Edward C. Kaps
Vice-President Kent Leach Secretary Larry Becker Treasurer
You can hielp make prostate cancer disappear!
To my fellow performers in the mystical arts:
During the 1998 Psychic Entertainers Association convention I spoke about a unique win/win/win opportunity for mentalists and magicians to provide a much needed community service while logging some practice and performing time. Most of you are familiar with the fact that I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1991. Following an operation and a year of extreme depression, my wife, April and I discovered the ultimate catharsis helping others. We both became deeply involved in prostate cancer support and advocacy. We formed our own non-profit prostate cancer information and education organization, Prostate Cancer Communication Resource, Inc. (PCCR) to increase awareness of prostate cancer and its devastating side-effects and to provide support for prostate cancer survivors and their families beyond that which is currently available from traditional support groups.
One of the first things that we offered was a no-cost 30 minute program to service organizations and corporations that featured mentalism and a brief message concerning prostate cancer and the need for men over 50 to get an annual checkup including the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) blood test that had literally saved my life. I used my Russian Roulette routine to create an analogous message that men over 40 (especially if you have a history of prostate cancer in your family) who don't get an annual checkup for prostate cancer, were playing Russian Roulette for real and it could cost them their lives. I performed for just about every Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis club in the Phoenix metropolitan area. It was a very effective way to reach men at risk. I even performed for the Welcome Wagon ladies. After all, it's usually the wife who brow beats her husband into getting the checkup.
Recently I did a 5-minute segment on TV 3 in Phoenix. During the discussion about prostate cancer I did a number effect, revealing a thought of number between 100 and a 1000. I pointed out that being a mentalist, I was able to discern the number with my mind, however, unless men over 40 get an annual prostate cancer checkup there's no way they can possibly know their PSA number that could indicate whether or not they have prostate cancer. You can see by this example that it's not too difficult to segue from almost any mental effect to the vitally important message concerning the need for early detection of prostate cancer.
You can read more about our involvement with prostate cancer support work in the October 1998 issue of the Linking Ring. In addition to appearing on the front cover, an article about our prostate cancer work, beautifully written by good friend, Robert Bluemle can be found on page 55. If magicians and mentalists throughout the U.S. would join us in our efforts to bring this life saving information to men over 40 and their families, it could hasten the day that prostate cancer will no longer be a national concern. Prostate cancer is now the leading cancer threat to American men. This year, (1998) the American Cancer Society estimates that over 300,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and over 42,000 will die from the disease.
April and I would be more than happy to provide any performer who is interested in this important community service with prostate cancer information, literature, etc. And we'll even help performers determine how they can deliver the message using effects they normally perform. For magicians, there must be at least hundreds or more "Just Chance" and "Gambling" routines. It's quite simple to perform the effect and then equate the result to gambling with ones life by not getting an annual prostate cancer checkup. Come to think of it, the climax of just about any magic or mental effect can be converted into the prostate cancer awareness message. For example:
(1) When the effect is completed, the performer simply states that what the audience has just experienced is an illusion (for mentalists, an illusion of the mind), but the devastating impact of prostate cancer is no illusion...it's very real. One second you're a seemingly healthy 40+ year old man and the next moment, without any warning signs whatsoever, you are diagnosed with prostate cancer. That's why it is so vitally important that every man over 40 should get an annual prostate cancer checkup, including the lifesaving PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test. While there is no known cure for prostate cancer, a man's best chance for survival is early detection. Once the cancer has penetrated the prostate gland, the chances of survival are drastically reduced.
(2) What you have just witnessed can best be described as magic. However, there's no magic in the world that can possibly cure prostate cancer. Early detection is a man's best chance for survival. That's why it is so vitally important that every man over 50 (40 if you have a history of PC in your family) should get an annual prostate cancer checkup including the life saving PSA blood test.
If you're interested in joining the war against prostate cancer or have any questions, write, phone or fax us as soon as possible. Our contact information: Larry & April Becker, P.O. Box 6023, Carefree, AZ 85377. Phone/Fax: 480-480-0980.
P.S. Time is of the essence. The longer it takes to get this lifesaving message to men at risk, the more men will needlessly die of the disease. There is an excellent booklet available free of charge from TAP Pharmaceuticals. If you wish to use it as a handout, simply drop us a line with your name and address and how many booklets you will need. Service organizations generally average 40 to 50 members at their meetings. Our local group in Carefree has well over 200. A few phone calls are all that it takes to get the telephone number of the program chairman of your local Lions, Rotary, or Kiwanis Clubs. They get a free program...you get some valuable practice and hopefully a lot of men at risk will get the message that the only way to beat prostate cancer is to have it diagnosed early.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.