Stage Presentation

Though I developed Total Knock Out mainly as a close-up routine, I'll describe how I handle the routine on stage. First, invite three spectators up to help you. Work the routine exactly as I explained for the close-up version to the point you've written your prediction on the business card. Hand it to the third helper, asking him to hold it until later, without looking at it.

Do all the mind reading sequences I've described previously. Since this is all oral with no props, this segment plays well on any size stage. For the proving sequence, invite the audience to take out their calculators or use pen and paper to prove the products are correct.

Now pick up a large pad or blackboard. (As usual, I involve my Ultra Board, as I'll explain in the next chapters.) Write the two spectators' totals one above another for the audience to see. Remind the audience the person at the right has held a card since you began. Ask him to look at it, then have him loudly call out the number you wrote earlier. Repeat the number yourself, to impress it on the audience. Now openly do the addition with the board facing them, so they can see the prediction being fulfilled!

While this revelation seems reversed from normal presentational structures, I've found on stage it plays more powerfully than doing the addition, getting the total, then having the helper read the number from the card.

If you're a stickler for traditional structure, try it this way: After writing the two totals on the blackboard, have the third helper copy what you have already written on the business card onto the opposite side of the blackboard in large numerals. Then do the addition of the totals, and turn the blackboard around for the climax.

Finally, here's yet another approach to presenting the effect on stage: Proceed with the routine as explained to the point where you divine the two numbers formed by the two helpers, then write the totals on the blackboard in the center of the surface. After the applause, you suddenly "remember" the business card the assistant is holding. Have him announce the digits on it. Write the number at the top of the blackboard above the other two numbers, near the top of the writing surface. Now, draw a line beneath the two persons' totals and begin adding them together. The audience will be right with you, anticipating the climax. They will start to gasp when you are halfway through, as they realize the number appearing is the identical number from your business card prediction. Though this is a somewhat different manner of revealing the prediction, it is very impressive. Moreover, it changes the pace of the revelation process so it looks dissimilar to other prediction effects you use in the same performance.

However you perform it, whether on stage or close-up, you'll find Total Knock Out a mind-boggling piece of mentalism.

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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