Witchwatch

The performer randomly chooses a spectator by tying a knot in a napkin and tossing it over his shoulder into the audience. The performer asks the spectator if they've ever met before? The spectator answers, "No!" "Then," the performer continues, "there's no way you could possibly know the make of watch I'm wearing on my left wrist?" The spectator agrees.

The mentalist states that he'll try to communicate the brand name of his watch to the spectator using telepathy. To make the task a little easier for the spectator, the performer shows a card bearing the names of six makes of watches, numbered one through six. The spectator is asked to hold the card with the name side against his body.

The performer states that he'll now concentrate on the number next to the correct brand of watch. He further instructs the spectator to call out the first number between "1" and "6" that crosses his mind when the performer snaps his fingers. The performer does so and the spectator, for example, calls out the no. "4." The performer, removing his watch, invites a second spectator to step forward and read aloud the name of watch which is printed across the face. The spectator states that the performer is wearing a "BENRUS" watch. The spectator holding the card is asked to call out the name next to the no. "4." He calls out "BENRUS."

REQUIRED

Prepare a card, about 8 1/2" wide by 11" deep which lists six brand name watches as follows:

1. BULOVA 2. CASIO 3. TIMEX 4. BENRUS 5. OMEGA 6. SEIKO

Also, you'll need a "Seiko Quartz" Digital Memory Chronograph wrist watch, described earlier.

You must have the watch customized by a watchmaker. Have him remove the crystal and turn over the metal plate bearing the "Seiko" name. You've neatly eliminated any reference to the make of watch. File off the "Seiko" logo on the metal watchband using a file and emery cloth.

To program the watch, consult the instructions on page 9 of the manual which explains how to use the "Multi-channel Memory." This feature will enable you to enter the six brand names listed above into the 7-channel memory function in the same order they're listed on the card. All you need to do is press button "C" to change the memory display from MEMO #1 to MEMO #6, in succession. In other words, let's assume you want to make the name "TIMEX" appear in the watch's display area. All you need to do is rapidly press button "C" three times.

That's the diabolic secret of "Witch-Watch." Whatever number from "1" to "6" the spectator calls aloud all that's necessary is to remove the watch and hold it in your right hand with button "C" positioned under your right thumb. As you call the second spectator to identify the brand name of the watch, you quickly press button "C" the necessary number of times and the correct brand name (the one next to the number called out by the spectator on the card) becomes visible in the window of the watch. Incidentally, although the watch can fit seven items in its memory, I feel that six brands are enough.

When the second spectator looks at the face of the watch, there's only one name visible for him to call out. For example, let's say the spectator called out the no. "3" and you secretly pressed the button 3 times. The name "TIMEX" will now be visible across the face of the watch. The spectator has no choice other than to read the only brand name visible to him. The audience will think he's identified the make of watch you're wearing. Then, when you have the first spectator call out the name next to the number he freely chose (no. 3) he'll call out "TIMEX." You've apparently mentally transmitted the correct number to spectator number one.

It's been a few years since I first conceived the above effect. Hopefully the model that I've been using is still available. Even if it isn't, I'm sure there are several memory watches on the market that could be adapted as described. Good hunting!

NOW AVAILABLE

The well known Chicago, New York and Beverly Hills store, Hammacher Schlemmer recently advertised a most unique timepiece. A date-storing analog wristwatch. At first glance, it appears to be a classically styled wristwatch with the standard hour and second hands. But, once its face is flipped open, it allows you to input information. Made by Casio, it has enough memory to store and sort 50 names and telephone numbers. For our purposes, it also has six easily accessed "memo pages" which are ideal for this effect.

It is expensive, advertised at $349.95, but the few who invest in this item will find it ideal for spelling out E.S.P. symbols, names, etc. Since the face of the watch is "normal", there's nothing to see before the revelation. As soon as you open the inner face of the watch, you can call up the appropriate item by surreptitiously pressing the appropriate controls before showing the interior window of the watch to your onstage spectator. Using the well known Al Koran double-speak, you instruct the spectator to read aloud what's "inscribed" inside the watch. Naturally, he's the only person who can actually see the interior and has no other choice than to real aloud what's showing on the screen.

You can call Hammacher Schlemmer at 1-800-543-3366 toll free, 24 hours a day, for more information on Stock Number 45769R.

t are the biggest failings of most psychic inc emember the old gag about the fellow who stopped someone and asked how to was,"Practice, practice primary failing of some mentalists and magicians, it's the lack of meaningful practice and more important, rehearsal. I've also contended, even if I couldn't achieve it myself, that the most important attribute any entertainer can have is the ability to entertain. Too many mentalists spend an inordinate amount of time learning the tricks of the trade instead of how to present them in an entertaining fashion.

This is one of those delightful little swindles that makes one happy to be a magician or mentalist. Over the years I've always enjoyed hearing the laughter generated by the revelation of principles I employ to perform effects like the two that follow. It is so bold and so simple, it will fool the most discerning audience, including magicians and mentalists. I know, it's been one of the highlights of my lectures for years.

EFFECT

The performer fans and displays a royal flush consisting of the Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of Spades. A spectator is invited to inspect the performer's right hand jacket pocket to confirm that it's empty. The five cards are then mixed by the performer and dropped into his previously examined, empty pocket. While the performer's head is turned away, the spectator is instructed to reach into the performer's pocket and remove any one of the five cards and place the card facedown on the palm of his left hand. The spectator covers the card with his right hand, completely hiding it from view.

From his left hand jacket pocket, the performer now removes and displays a deck of 52 playing cards and invites a second spectator to aid in the experiment by mentally choosing a two digit number. "To save time," the performer suggests, "pick a number over 10 but less than 20."

When the spectator indicates that he has a two-digit number in mind, the performer states that he would like the spectator to deal that many cards, face-down, in a pile on the performer's outstretched hand. As he makes the request, the performer demonstrates what he wants the spectator to do. The performer now hands the deck to the spectator. As the spectator deals, the performer comically mimes the counting of the cards in an exaggerated fashion.

When the spectator stops dealing, the performer, feigning great concentration, announces that he has an impression that the spectator is thinking of the number, for example, "14." Naturally, the audience laughs since obviously the performer simply counted the cards as they were being dealt. Smiling, the performer states that actually, all he's interested in are the two digits which form the number the spectator has mentally chosen. In this instance, a "1" and a "4." add those two digits together, the performer continues, and the total is "5," a number that couldn't possibly have been known before. The performer deals four cards onto the deck and retains the fifth card, keeping its back to the audience. The performer drops the remaining cards in his hand back on the deck the spectator is holding.

"Wouldn't it be incredible if the card that I'm holding matches the card between the gentlemen's hands?" the performer asks. Looking at the spectator on his left, the performer asks, "What card are you holding between the palms of your hands?" The spectator replies, "The Jack of Spades!" slowly the performer turns the card he's holding to the audience. It's the Jack of Spades.

REQUIRED

Needed is a deck of 52 playing cards plus a royal flush in Spades obtained from five different decks. In other words, the back designs are all different. For instance, the Ace of Spades comes from a red backed Bicycle deck. The King of Spades comes from a blue backed Bicycle deck. The Queen from a red backed Bee brand deck and the jack from a blue backed Bee brand deck. And finally, the Ten of Spades from a red backed Tally-ho deck. All are manufactured by the U.S. Playing card company, so the faces are compatible with one another while the backs are all different.

Memorize which card goes with which back design, an easy task that takes moments. As you can see, if the audience never sees the backs of the cards at one time, they'll never suspect that you can discern one card from another while you're several feet away. It's this subtlety that enables you to perform a baffling feat of mentalism. To complete the set-up, arrange the deck of 52 cards as follows, from the top down. Any nine (9) cards, followed by the A-K-Q-J-10 of Spades, followed by the balance of the deck. The boxed deck is placed in the left jacket pocket along with the five loose cards that make up the royal flush.

TO PERFORM

Follow the presentation as outlined earlier. Remove the five cards, making sure that you don't flash any of the backs. Keep the faces to the audience. Overhand shuffle the five cards face-up and drop them in your empty right hand jacket pocket after the spectator has examined and pronounced it empty. Have the spectator reach into your pocket and remove one (stress "one") card as you look away. Ask him to place it face-down on the palm of his left hand. When he's indicated that he's done so, turn and quickly note the back design of the card the spectator is holding. Immediately, look away as you tell him to cover the card with his right hand, hiding it from view. It should appear as though you had expected him to do this in the first place. Of course, you now know the identity of the chosen card.

Have a second spectator join you and position him on your left. Remove the deck from your left hand pocket and display them to the audience by running the deck from hand to hand, faces to the audience, moving the cards in clumps to prevent anyone from noticing the five card "flush" stack. Ask the spectator to think of a two digit number, one that's more than 10 but less than 20. Show how you want the spectator to deal the cards, face-down, in a pile, on your hand. Depending on which card the first spectator removed from your pocket, you'll have to move from one to four cards from the top of the deck to the bottom.

If the Ace is the selected card, don't do anything. Simply, hand the deck to the spectator so he can deal the number of cards he's concentrating upon. If the King of Spades is the chosen card, push off one card from the top of the deck (with the left thumb), into your right hand as you show how the cards shall be dealt. When you place the card back in the pack, casually put it on the bottom of the deck. If the Queen is the chosen card, demonstrate by dealing two cards into the right hand. For the Jack, deal three cards and for the Ten, four cards. This action will set the deck for the finish. Just remember to replace the cards on the bottom of the deck before returning it to the spectator. This is an extremely subtle way to move the necessary number of cards from the top to the bottom of the deck without any suspicious moves or sleights.

Hand the deck to the spectator on your right and as he deals the cards onto your outstretched right hand, mime counting the cards as previously described. When he's finished, state you have the impression he's concentrating upon (fill-in the number of cards you just counted) for example, "14." this little bit of humorous byplay helps disguise the mathematical method used to reach the duplicate of the first spectator's card.

You then feign interest only in the two digits that form the spectator's mentally selected number and after adding them together, deal the resulting number of cards as previously detailed. The card you're now holding will match the first spectator's chosen card. Have the spectator on your left call out the identity of the card he's holding between his hands. Slowly turn the card in your hand toward the audience. Naturally, it matches the spectator's freely selected card.

Another routine that I created using the same basic principle was "headliner" which was presented during lectures in 1991 at the IBM conventions in Baltimore, Maryland and Great Yarmouth, England.

HEADLINER

The performer displays a deck of playing cards and then proceeds to shuffle it face-up. When he's finished, the performer hands the deck to a spectator and has him deal five randomly selected cards face-up on the performer's outstretched palm. The balance of the deck is then discarded. The spectator is invited to inspect the performer's right hand jacket pocket to confirm that it's empty. The five cards are then mixed by the performer and dropped into his previously examined, empty pocket. The spectator removes a single card from the performer's pocket as in the prior version.

The performer removes a folded newspaper from his attache case. He states that if he somehow is able to sense the identity of the card hidden between the spectators hands, one card out of a deck of fifty-two, it would indeed be a miracle. In fact, it might even make headlines in the local newspaper. The performer asks the spectator to call out the name of the card he has hidden between the palms of his hands. For example, the spectator calls out the "two of diamonds". The performer slowly unfolds the newspaper and shows the headline to the audience. "Mentalist Predicts The Two Of Diamonds!" screams the headline.

REQUIRED

Needed is a deck of 52 playing cards plus a special group of five cards obtained, as in the previous trick, from five different decks. In this example, I will use the Two of Diamonds, the Ace of Clubs, the Seven of Hearts, the Two of Spades, and the Six of Diamonds.

As in the preceding effect, memorize which card goes with which back design. To complete the set-up, remove and discard the five matching cards in the deck and stack the five odd backed cards on the bottom of the deck. Place any card on the bottom of the deck and return the deck to its case with the faces of the cards against the flap side of the box.

You will also need five custom headline newspapers. These can be obtained from a company in Florida called, "Your Name in Headlines." You can write to them and request a current price list and order form. The address is: Your Name in Headlines, P.O. Box 14283, Bradenton, FL 34280. They currently cost $8.00 each plus shipping and handling.

When you've obtained the required five newspapers, fold them into small packets around 4" x 6". Since they consist of a single sheet of paper, they fold rather small and flat. Arrange these in an overlapping row, like an index, protruding upward about 2" above the long pocket in your attache case. Arrange them in a memorized order so that you can quickly retrieve the proper newspaper once you know the identity of the spectator's selected card.

TO PERFORM

Follow the presentation as outlined earlier. Remove the cards from the box, making sure that you don't flash any of the backs. Keep the faces to the audience. Riffle shuffle the pack, face-up, retaining the six face cards in place. Select a spectator from the audience and tell him to call, "Stop" as you riffle your thumb down the corner of the deck. When the spectator calls, "Stop," get a little finger break under the face card and double undercut this card to the bottom of the face-up deck to get it out of the way. Have the spectator hold the deck face-up and instruct him to deal five cards, face-up on the palm of your right hand. When the spectator has done so, take the remainder of the deck with your left hand and drop them in your pocket without allowing the audience to see the backs of the cards.

Overhand shuffle the five cards, face-up and drop them in your empty right hand jacket pocket to have one selected as in the other version of this trick.

You patter about the fact that if you were to correctly sense which card the spectator is hiding between the palms of his hands, it might even make the headlines in a local newspaper. Remove the proper newspaper from your attache case. Ask the spectator to reveal the identity of his freely selected card. Show the headline and acknowledge the applause.

In May 1991, I read an effect entitled, "Anti-Clock Location," by George F. Miller of Silver Spring, Maryland. It was one of the best mental card effects ever to appear in the Linking Ring and I immediately sent Mr. Miller a letter complimenting him on his brainchild. The effect was a variation of the ancient "clock" effect, with a notable improvement. My own effect, Cardology, explained elsewhere in this book also makes use of the clock principle which is why I was drawn to Miller's effect in John Bannon's Linking Ring column.

I experimented with the Bannon adaptation of the Miller effect called "Timely Departure," in his excellent book, "Smoke and Mirrors," was a masterpiece of card magic: Three mentally (?) selected cards vanish from the deck and reappear moments later, reversed. In fact, John's variation was so strong that I immediately began to use it. After a short while I realized that the effect was primarily a close-up card trick and the reappearance was too "magicky." Even for yours truly. Eventually I altered John's improvement, added a couple of cute wrinkles, as I have often been known to do. The result is a stand-up, mental effect that should bring you a solid round of applause.

EFFECT

The performer explains that parapsychologists favor the use of playing cards while testing for Extra Sensory Perception because they're familiar objects and constitute 52 separate and distinct images. Displaying a deck of cards, the performer has a spectator examine and shuffle it. Stating that in order to preclude the possibility that what the audience is about to see is merely a card trick, the performer will have the spectator upset the balance of the deck so that no one knows exactly how many cards are in the deck. The spectator is asked to mentally select a small, "secret" number between one and twelve. Then, while the performer turns his head away, the spectator is instructed to remove that many cards and drop them in the performer's jacket pocket.

The spectator is now requested to shuffle the cards. The performer turns and retrieves the deck as he emphasizes that since there's no way he could possibly know how many cards are left, the possibility of using any form of mathematics has been totally eliminated. The performer explains that he's about to demonstrate the phenomenon known as hypnosis, or as it is sometimes referred to, the power of suggestion.

First, however, the spectator is asked to mentally select a card by using his secret number. As the performer shows twelve cards from the remainder of the deck, one at a time, the spectator is instructed to remember the name of the card that appears at a position in the deck corresponding to the number the spectator has in mind. For example, let's say he spectator is concentrating on the number "5." As the performer shows the cards one at a time, the spectator remembers the fifth card the performer shows. The spectator does so and remembers, for example, the Queen of Hearts.

As he finishes showing the twelve cards, the performer cuts the pack a couple of times and states that now, no one, including the spectator, has any idea where his mentally selected card is located. Gazing intently at the spectator, the performer states that when he snaps his fingers, the spectator will no longer be able to see the card he is thinking of. Even though the spectator will now examine each and every card in the deck, he'll be unable to see it. The card will have become invisible to his eyes through the power of suggestion.

The performer proceeds to show the spectator each and every card in the deck. At no time does the spectator see the card he's thinking of, although obviously, he's the only person who knows which card that is. The performer turns to the audience and exclaims, "That, ladies and gentlemen, is the power of suggestion." Calling for a round of applause for his volunteer, the performer stops the spectator as he begins to return to his seat. "Wait, Sir, just a moment. What you just experienced was, in fact, the power of suggestion. "Now, let's try telepathy," suggests the performer. "Please picture the card you are thinking of. See it in your mind's eye," the performer asks. "You're thinking of the Queen of Hearts, is that correct?" The spectator admits that the performer is correct.

At no time does the performer see the face of any card. The spectator fairly shuffles the pack to his heart's content. At no time does the spectator reveal his mentally selected number or the card that he's thinking of. Yet, under these seemingly impossible conditions, not only does the spectator's card apparently become invisible to him, the performer is able to correctly identify it. Now that's a dynamite mental card effect.

TO PREPARE

You'll need a pack of marked cards. The one I recommend Ted Lesley's, "The Working

Performer's Marked Deck." If you don't have one, get one. Check with your favorite magic dealer.

TO PERFORM

Have the spectator examine and thoroughly shuffle the deck. Explain that while your back is turned, you want him or her to remove a small number of cards and place them inside the empty card box. The reason? To eliminate any possibility that the miracle that you're about to attempt is accomplished by mathematics. Tell the spectator to think of any number from one through twelve and to place that number of cards in the box. You turn away as this is done.

When the cards have been concealed, the performer turns back and retrieves the balance of the deck. The spectator is told that as he is shown the top twelve cards of the shuffled deck, he is to note and remember the playing card that occupies the position that matches his secret number. In other words, if he originally thought of the number, "3," the spectator is to remember the third card that is shown to him.

After the performer has shown the spectator twelve cards, the deck is cut several times. At this point, no one, including the spectator, has any idea as to the location of the mentally selected card. Actually, the performer keeps a "break" under the twelve cards after they've been shown and double-undercuts (see Appendix II) them to the bottom of the deck. Pushing over the next three cards on top of the deck, the performer obtains a break under these cards as the deck is squared. Once again, the performer performs a double-undercut, sending the top three cards to the bottom of the deck. The spectator is told that through the power of suggestion, his card will become invisible.

The performer holds the face down deck in his left hand. One at a time, the performer pushes off cards from the top of the deck with his left thumb, taking them with the right fingers. The right hand holds each card vertically to enable the spectator to see its face. The performer tells the spectator to look for his mentally selected card. Note that the order of the cards does not change as they are transferred from the left hand to the right.

After 18 cards have been shown, the performer asks the spectator to hold out his hand. The cards that have been displayed are placed on the palm of the spectator's outstretched hand. The spectator is asked if he has seen his card. When he answers in the negative, the performer shows another 18 cards, one-at-a-time. Again, the spectator is asked if he or she has seen their mentally selected card. Again, the spectator replies in the negative.

The performer turns towards the audience and states, "It must be working." At this point, the top card of the remaining packet in the performer's left hand is the spectator's mentally selected card. A quick glance at the back of this card will tell you which card the spectator is thinking of. The boldness of the Lesley marking system enables you to instantly identify the card. A break is obtained under the top card of the packet in the left hand. The 18 cards in the right hand are lowered and momentarily placed on top of the packet in the left hand.

As the cards are squared, the right fingers "pick-off' the spectator's card adding it to the 18 card packet. This 19 card packet of cards is now placed on the packet of cards being held by the spectator. You not only now know the identity of the card the spectator is thinking of, you've also caused it to vanish among the cards the spectator is holding. Naturally, he or she thinks they've examined all of the cards they're holding.

Incidentally, I recommend that while you're showing the cards one-at-a-time to the spectator, you should look at the audience, not the spectator. In other words, adopt that glazed, wild-eyed Lance Burton, Toni Forster look, allowing your eyes to dart from left to right and back to center as you display the cards. For some reason, it breaks the monotony of the dealing process and helps create an air of excitement. Don't ask me why, it just works and, of course, so does the use of music or sound effects.

Since the spectator hasn't seen his card up to this point, the performer exclaims that it must be among the few remaining cards which he hands to the spectator to examine. The spectator must hand the packet of cards he's holding to the performer to be able to do this. Naturally, the spectator finishes looking through the cards and even though he or she's the only one to know the identity of the mentally selected card, it has vanished from the deck.

The performer retrieves the balance of the deck and allows the spectator to return to his or her seat as he exclaims, "That is the power of suggestion!" Stopping the spectator, the performer states, "This is telepathy!" The performer has the spectator concentrate on the card he is thinking of and proceeds to reveal same as previously detailed under the "effect."

This is a startling performance piece. The hypnotic theme is quite engaging to a lay audience. The fact that the cards are genuinely shuffled and you never see the face of one card, makes the vanish of the card and the revelation of a mentally selected card a small miracle. To soften the "dead time" that occurs during the time the cards are displayed to the spectator, I've used recorded music in the background and find that it really does the trick, also the recorded sound of a metronome. Thanks to Mr. Miller, Mr. Bannon, Mr. Leslie, and my adaptation, you've got an excellent mental card effect to add to your repertoire.

QAgatfnst a background of a contemporary high degree ofinterestln "new age" matters, why isn't psychic bentenainment more sought after?

A: While mentalists ar e quick to p.onf out that public reaction

. . Excerpt from Vibrations interview with Robert L. Bluemle to psychic entertainment is significantly greater than to magic, its appeal pales by comparison with more popular forms of entertainment such as motion pictures, television, legitimate theater and of course, singers, dancers and comedians. Personally, I find it difficult to believe that anyone who presents a program of psychic entertainment at the local Kiwanis luncheon for $150.00 is going to be considered either a legitimate psychic or a threat to Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra or Bill Cosby.

To invoke an old cliche, "If you can really read minds, why ain't you rich?" I think mentalists have a credibility problem that transcends any interest the public may or may not have in "new age" matters.

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