About Using Jumbo Cards

Before I get into the explanation of the method I use for this jumbo card reading routine, I want to give you some of my thoughts about how and why I use jumbo cards in my show.

Some mentalists refuse to use even a deck of standard playing cards in their acts, believing what they're doing will be perceived as "magic tricks." Those who buy that notion will consider me significantly more heretical when I say I use jumbo cards constantly in my work! I've used them since I developed my first stand-up mental show in 1974. I've never had a problem with my audiences thinking I do mere "card tricks" — they don't.

I take heart in the fact that such a fine worker as the legendary Paul Fox used jumbo cards in his mental act during the 1930s, in his stand-up presentation of his Miracle Gimmick. (Which is, in case you don't know it, one of the most convincing and amazing mental routines with cards ever invented. As I mentioned in the manuscript for my Thought Scan act, it's a favorite with me.)

In the context of my current "number one" show I always use my Breakthrough Card System with jumbo cards for what I call my Card Calling routine, much in the same way I outlined in my words on "Routining a Mental Show" in the previous chapter. I'll give you the exact patter I use when I start the routine. I use essentially the same patter when I introduce the Supernatural Sight routine, but then I have two spectators on stage.

There's something additional you need to know in understanding the scenario I'll describe: Usually, before my stand-up act goes on, I've had the opportunity to meet with and be introduced to several of those who will later watch my show. These may be the corporate people who have hired me, their friends, other executives, or VIPs attending the convention or corporate event. As I encounter these small groups or individuals, I always do something for them: My Surrounded Slow-Motion Center Tear (which I do dozens of times a night), and some of my original metal bending effects. And, I always work alternately between my Breakthrough Card System, my Radar Deck, and other methods I've explained in this book, doing "brain-busters" with cards. By the time I'm ready to go on stage, several members of the audience are already convinced I'm a miracle worker, and are really looking forward to the show.

As you read my lines, you'll notice that I link the cards quickly to a gambling — not magic — theme. (You may also notice how I tell the audience who I am, and where I've been, without name-dropping at length, the way Kreskin does!)

If I'm performing my Card Calling, I start the effect by getting a male spectator on stage. I address both him and the audience simultaneously:

"Many people ask me if I can use any of my abilities for gambling? The answer is ... Yeah!... I live in Connecticut where we have Foxwoods, the world's largest casino. I just did a performance at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City a few months ago. I've been to Monte Carlo three times over the past few years. Even when I traveled to Beijing, China, I discovered they love to gamble and use American playing cards all the time."

I continue:

"Earlier tonight, I had several of you just look through a deck of cards and simply think of one. Then I guessed what you were thinking. Where are those people now ... raise your hands ... am I telling the truth?"

At this point, several hands will pop up throughout the audience, and these spectators nod their heads, "Yes." These will, of course, be spectators who participated in my preceding work with cards.

I continue:

"When I'm standing up close, it's easy for you to see a normal-size playing card. However, a typical show for me is between 200 and 500 people. My largest performance to date was for the Pacific Bell Yellow Pages in Oakland, California. There were over 2000 people in my audience that night! But, even in a smaller room, it would be hard for the people in the back to see a regu-lar-size card. So, because of that, I have these big ones!"

With that, I remove the jumbo cards from my case and display them, continuing:

"Besides being a lot bigger than a normal-sized deck, they are, in fact, identical in every other way. They are not something special — you can buy decks of cards like these in some stationery stores and certain specialty shops in shopping malls."

From that point I go into my Card Calling routine, or begin the Supernatural Sight by starting the patter for the introduction of the blindfold, as I explained in Paroptic Psychometry I. I should note that I never do more than a single card effect in a stage show; it's one or the other, never both.

Now that you understand how I get the jumbos into play, I'll explain how the card reading effect I use in Supernatural Sight works.

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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