Performance

If you're interested in seeing how I present this live, and how it affects an audience, I included it on my Challenge Magic! video. There are several points in this explanation that weren't tipped on the tape or the version previously printed in my RICH WITH A TWIST lecture notes. I'll include them here.

To begin, uncase the ESP deck. Display it face-up, pointing out the five different symbols, as you explain their use in testing Extra Sensory Perception and telepathy. Give the deck a False Shuffle or two. If you have the Challenge Magic! video, you may have noticed I dropped a card during the shuffle at the beginning of Viewed ESP Prediction. I then picked it up, placed it in the center of the deck, and continued. This was no accident! That's my Sloppy fog Shuffle in action, which I explained in the previous chapter. If it flew by you when you watched my taped presentation, that's what it's supposed to do! It doesn't affect the 10-card stack at the top of the deck, and looks quite disarming.

Once you've shuffled, run the deck quickly from hand-to-hand looking at the faces of the cards as you announce you will make a prediction. Place the deck face-down in front of a spectator. Pick up the pad and explain you will "draw" your prediction so there will be no doubt about what your forecast is. As your prediction, you simply draw the arrangement of the top five cards of the deck, as shown in Figure Six. These are from the example in Figure Five. The numbers indicating the positions are not written on the pad; they are there for your reference in understanding the explanation.

After you complete the drawing, you "decide" to allow a member of the audience hold the prediction, so several spectators can look at it as the test occurs. Caution the person who will assist you that he is not to see the prediction.

An important presentational table in a single face-down pile. After he has begun the deal, casually say "Deal about half the deck." You want to get at least the top 10 cards onto the table in the pile. Once the 10 cards are down, tell him he may stop dealing whenever he wishes. When he stops, take the undealt cards from him, turn them face-up showing they are well mixed, as you point out he could have stopped anywhere. Place them aside, out of the way.

Ask the assisting spectator to pick up the pile of dealt cards. Instruct him to deal them back onto the table into two facedown piles, dealing alternately between piles, one card at a time. As he deals the final card, remember the pile on which this last card is placed.

You now tell the spectator he will go through the following procedure: He will touch the top card of either pile, turn the card face-up, then put it on the table. You add he will do this five times, choosing each card from whatever pile he prefers:

point I've developed during the past few years is this: I usually hand the prediction to a person sitting at my right, asking him to show it to the spectators on his side, while the people to my left do not get to see it. I've found the crowd may grow as I perform this routine. It's very effective for half the group to watch the other half reacting to the prediction, all the time wondering what the other spectators are seeing.

FIGURE SIX

Tell the helper to pick up the face-down deck and deal cards from the top one-by-one onto the

He may select all from one pile, or pick some from one anc some from the other, as he wishes.

Because of the mirrored arrangement of the cards, and the way he dealt the cards, he must take the five cards you predicted. However, the problem you must now overcome ii this: You want him to lay out the cards on the table in exactly the order you predicted, giving the illusion that you not only predicted the cards he would choose, but also the order in which he would choose them!

To do this, as the person touches one pile or the other, you point to the spot on the table where you want him to put the card, then have him turn it face-up. Since you supposedly don't know the identities of the cards, this procedure goes unquestioned.

Here is how you know where to indicate the card will be placed: Recalling the pile on which the final card was placed, you would consider this pile the "odd" pile, and the other pile the "even" pile. The odd pile has, from top down, the ESP cards in the order 1-3-5-4-2 related to your pictorial prediction. The other pile, the even pile, has the cards running in the order 2-4-5-3-1 from top down. Thus, the odd pile has the cards in order of the prediction running counterclockwise, while the even has them clockwise.

Ask the helper to drop his finger on either pile, emphasizing he has a free choice. Let's say he touches the odd pile first. Have him take the top card face-down. Making a mental image of the 1 through 5 positions on the table in front of the two piles, you point to where the 1 would be, ask him to put his first card there, and turn it face-up.

Now let's suppose for the second selection he goes to the even pile. You know that's the beginning card of the clockwise running order. You point to indicate that card goes at position 2 and is turned up there. (If he stays with the odd pile for his next choice, then you know it's the second card in the counterclockwise running order. You would then point to position 3 on the table, indicating he should put it there and turn it face-up.)

If he stays with the even pile for his third choice, you would indicate position 4 as the place for him to put it, following the clockwise order around.

If he stays with the even pile for his fourth choice, you point to position 5, again moving around the arrangement clockwise for the even pile, and counterclockwise when he selects the odd. In reality, there's very little to remember.

For the fifth and final choice, there's a beautiful touch: The top card of either face-down pile is the same after four selections are made! It doesn't matter which he chooses ... you can build this up impressively. Point to the final open position, allow him to make his choice, then tell him he can change his mind if he likes before the card is turned face-up. Ask him if he's sure, to pound this home. This is compelling — it leaves the impression you pointed at each spot before the spectator made his selection!

Once the helper has made his concluding decision, have him take the top card of the pile he chose, then put it face-up in the open position. As the right side of the audience reacts to your prediction coming true, you pick up the other pile. Do a Strike Second, turning the top card face-up as you say, "If you had taken this card it would have been entirely different!" (The misdirection is heavy. Even if you do a poor Second Deal you'll get away with it. You can, of course, choose not to do the Second Deal, but the pounding home of the randomness is worth it.)

Drop the card face-down on top of the pile, then turn that pile face-up on the table. Pick up the other pile turning it faceup, and drop it on top of the tabled face-up pile, merging them. Spread them across the table driving home the point the cards are in completely haphazard order, as you mention he could have "selected any of these cards."

Ask the person holding the prediction to hand it to you. Place it prediction-side-up next to the five-card layout, letting your helper and the other half of the audience see the results. The response is one of utter disbelief.

I realize some readers may have difficulty following an effect of this kind in print or in their heads. To understand it, stack the cards face-up and go through the routine. The reason the method works will then become obvious.

Viewed ESP Prediction is a wonderful effect, way out of proportion to the easy method.

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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