Using the same methodology, but changing the audience's perception of what is happening is an important principle. To demonstrate the worth of that concept, I'll now explain how I regularly present the same effect when I do a show for a larger audience. As you read it, you'll note this presentation leaves the impression I'm reading the minds of the whole audience!
You begin the same way, with the patter I recounted in Paroptic Psychometry I, after having invited two spectators on stage to help you. Have them check out the blindfold, then put on your tape and the blindfold. This time, you dispense with the blackboard. After your introduction, send one of your helpers into the audience to collect two objects. Have him place the objects on the table after they've been gathered.
You're standing on stage blindfolded, but of course you see both objects, and from whom they were obtained. Since you're standing beside the table, you can easily memorize the distinctive details of the objects. But, to add a throw off, you now walk away to the other side of the stage, and turn your back. Only now do you direct a helper to pick up either object, then request he step to the front of the platform.
With your back still turned, a quick sideways glance at the table after you've directed him to step to the front of the stage, shows which of the objects he's chosen, by which remains. The sideways glance is a natural action, but from this point forward, keep your back turned to the table, the audience, and the helper.
Direct the helper to hold the object up high, so the audience can concentrate on it. Encourage the audience to visualize the object, then project their thoughts to you. Now, you begin to receive "impressions from the audience," and describe the first object.
But, there's a kicker: Once you've described the object — let's say it's a set of keys — you ask the helper to return the object to the owner, then ask that person to stand. With your back still turned, you begin to articulate thoughts about the owner: "I'm getting the impression that the person who owns the keys is a distinctive person ... who is wearing a gray suit... with a pink tie... Is that correct?" You'll get a "Yes/' and a burst of applause.
Still facing away from the table, ask the second helper to pick up the remaining object, step to the front of the stage, and hold it high. Of course, you already know what it is, but the effect so far is that a helper has collected two objects which you couldn't possibly have seen, picked either while your back was turned, and you have not only received the thoughts from the audience about what the object was, but also psychometrized by "remote control" whom the object belonged to.
Apparently you still have no idea what the last object is, so you describe that as you again "catch the thought waves" the audience is projecting. Again, the object is returned to the spectator who lent it — let's say this time it's a lipstick — and you start to announce your impressions of the owner: "I'm getting the impression that the lipstick belongs to a lady with brown hair ... she's about five-foot-four ... and I'm getting the impression she's wearing something bright... a red dress ... Is that right?" By then, you're removing the blindfold, and you'll certainly have applause!
As I said, basically the same method, but the twist in presentation dramatically alters the audience's perception of what has happened: Since you're not supposed to know just whom your helper picked in the audience, or either of the objects, much less which has been selected, the ruse of the freedom of choice while your back is turned makes this very impressive, as does the descriptions of the objects' owners. This presentation also leads perfectly into the next effect of the jumbo card reading, where the presentation is, again, that you read the minds of the audience.
Was this article helpful?
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.