Book of Magic/Mental Magic
Mind reading is actually not reading a person's thoughts. It is about the performer forcing the spectator to choose a particular thing or readily determining (through a variety of potential avenues) which thing or things the person has chosen. Below are two brief examples:
"Okay, you're thinking of a number between one and four. The number is three, right?"
99% of people will choose the number 3 in that scenario.
Next time when you meet a friend just show the back side of your palm and ask them to choose a finger - 99% of people would select the middle finger only.
Predicting the Future
Other Effects and Mentalism
The Magician's Force Mental Effect
The Magician's Force is a term used to describe a number of things mostly dealing with cards, but can be used in almost any form of mentalism. Simply put, the Magician's Force is a way of making the spectator choose or do something that they feel was of their own doing not the magician's. The most common for this takes is in card magic. There are many different types of card forces available; you can go to the section entitled Basic Card Magic for more on card forces. This section will be dealing with forces used in mentalist effects, although one of the examples will be a card trick.
The Unknown Assistant
This is the easiest miracle effect to learn. When performing for a group of people, have a card selected and lost in the deck. Instead of revealing the card yourself, have a friend of the spectator reveal the card for you. After you leave, they will compare notes and when they realize what just happened, they will think you are the most amazing person on the planet (well maybe not the most amazing, but at least in the top two billion or so…)
As with most tricks, the patter is very important. Probably more so in a situation like this where you have to lead someone to the conclusion without making it apparent that you are doing so. Everything must look like it is on the up and up. That is to say that you have to be subtle so as not to arouse suspicions about what you are doing or saying. Let us start with a synopsis of the trick we are about to discuss. First, a card is chosen by a spectator. This can be a free choice or a force depending upon exactly what you are trying to do as well as your skill level in handling cards. The chosen card is not looked at by the spectator, and not shown to anyone else. The spectator should hold on to the card so no one else can see it, and so that it can be compared to the revealed card at the end. Another spectator, preferably a friend to the first spectator is chosen to reveal the card by receiving psychic impressions (yeah right.) After the card is revealed by the second spectator, the card is shown to match.
As the magician is going to be leading the spectators through the trick, patter and gestures must be subtle and direct. A good rapport is needed and should be established as soon as possible. This could have been done through the previous tricks done for the spectators, or through just simply talking to them to get to know them a little before beginning. Have your force ready to begin as soon as the rapport takes hold. Once begun, it is important to maintain control of the situation. If one or more of the spectators are unruly, do some other trick to gain their attention and more importantly their respect. As a performer you have a right to be respected or to choose not to perform. If your audience doesn’t give you their attention, you are better off not performing for them when the performance involves audience participation. If you get their attention and have their respect, then you can begin the presentation.
First you must have a card chosen. It is important to make the choice look like a free one, even if it is not. The only rule here is that after the choice you must know what the chosen card is. If you can give the spectator a free choice and then discern the identity of the chosen card, do so. It will make the trick seem that much more of a miracle. Otherwise you must force a card on the spectator, a card you already know the identity of. The patter used will depend on the method of card delivery. In my example, I will show doing it with a free choice of cards. This can be accomplished most easily by a stacked deck (See Basic Card Magic.) My delivery patter is as follows:
(To the first spectator) As I go through the deck slowly, I want you to place your finger on one of the cards, which ever you choose, and leave it there. Do you understand?(Asking if they understand is not always necessary, but helps you know that they are following your instructions properly.) Once the spectator places their finger on a card (you can ask them if they want to change their mind or if they are sure that is the card they want, but you must maintain their finger on the card with no apparent movement of the cards.) Once you are sure that is the card they want separate the cards above their choice and as they are taking the card place the cards above it on the bottom of the deck while you are giving them the following instruction:
OK I want you to take the card and don’t look at it or let anyone else see it, simply put it up against you so no one, not even yourself can know what it is. When they have done this, you must find the identity of the card they have chosen. As I am doing this with a stacked deck, all I have to do is glimpse the bottom card (which was the card on top of the chosen card) and I will know the identity of their card. Once you have worked with a stacked deck enough you will be able to tell the next card without hesitation, which is what you must strive to do. Any hesitation will tell the audience that you are trying to remember the next card. If you need to stall long enough to figure out which card they chose, you can pick up the card box and insert the deck into the box. This gives you a little time to figure out their card while you fumble with the box, but don't take too long. Once you know the chosen card you then turn to the next spectator and begin the patter for their naming the card. I generally don’t let them know that they are going to reveal the card before the card is chosen. This doesn’t give them time to get nervous.
(To the second spectator and in the format of a setup for the reveal) Would you mind helping me with this trick? (Before they can answer, continue with) Have you ever been a magician before? Once they agree to help, then begin with: Well if I asked you to name their card, you would have a one in 52 chance, not very good odds. So let’s see if we can make those odds a little better shall we… In a deck of cards there are two colors, Red and Black. We can eliminate half of the cards by picking a color. So if you will please pick a color, Red or Black, Black or Red?
(It is really important that you say it that way, as this shows that you are not trying to lead the spectator to make a particular decision. They don’t know how the trick works, but if you say one choice first all the time and that one happens to be the one that the spectator says then they think you led them to that decision. Saying both choices together and both first will eliminate this thinking.)
What you have done with this statement is setup the force. You already know the color of the chosen card. By making the statement above you have said you were going to eliminate half of the cards, but you didn’t say which half. Let’s say that the chosen card was the 5 of Diamonds. We know that it is a red card, so if the second spectator says “Red” then you simply turn to the first spectator and say She says your card is a Red Card, let’s hope she is right or it isn’t going to be much of a trick. However if the second spectator says “Black” then turn to the first spectator and say She has eliminated the black cards, so your card must be “Red” (see how easy that was)
Now turn back to the second spectator and say, In the Red Cards there are two suits, Hearts and Diamonds, Lets see if we can cut our odds again. If you could please pick Hearts or Diamonds, Diamonds or Hearts.
If the second spectator says “Diamonds” then turn to the first spectator and say, Now that we know it is Diamonds let’s see if we can zero in on the value. If the second spectator says Hearts, then go with Ok, we eliminated the Hearts, so we know your card was Diamonds. Unfortunately we can no longer eliminate half of the cards, because we have thirteen left and that isn’t evenly divisible.
Turn back to the second spectator and say There are however Face Cards and Spot Cards to chose from. Face cards being the Jack, Queen, and King. Spot Cards being all of the rest. So if you could please pick Face or Spot, Spot or Face? If the spectator says “Face” then you would say That leaves the Spot Cards. If the spectator says “Spot” then say, Ok there are ten Spot Cards, let’s eliminate some more. There are High Cards and Low Cards, High being the Six, Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten. Low being the Ace through Five, so please pick High or Low, Low or High?
If the spectator says “High” then say That leaves the Low Cards. If the spectator says “Low” then say, There are five Low Cards, the Ace, Two, Three, Four and Five. Please pick any three of them.
Since the Chosen card was the 5 of Diamonds, simply leave the five in play and eliminate the others. If the 5 was one of the chosen cards, then rename the three and say please chose two. If it wasn’t then you are down to two cards simply say choose one of them. By manipulating the choices in this way you end up with the chosen card rename it and have the first spectator show their card for the first time.
The main thing to remember is that you must be in control at all times. You must keep the motion going not letting the spectators have too much time between choices to think about what you are doing. If they don’t get to think about it as you are doing it, they won’t know they are being manipulated. By the time they have a chance to think about what happened, they won’t remember enough of the details to put it together.
This effect is also very simple yet very powerful. Start with a piece of paper on which you will write a prediction. Fold up the prediction and display it where everyone can see it. Pick about 10 to 15 everyday items and bring them to a table. Alternate with the spectator picking items out of the group until there is only one item left. When the prediction is read, it will match the item remaining.
With this effect there are only two things to remember. The first is what the prediction is, and the second is that the magician always picks on the even numbered picks. The easiest way to see how this trick works would be to work through a sample. For the sake of time we will start at the point where there is only six items left. We will assume that the items are a candle, a book, a pencil, a mirror, a comb, a photo, and a credit card. We will also assume that the mirror is the prediction.
The magician takes the comb and the credit card and places them at the center of the table. The spectator must eliminate one of these two items, let’s say the comb. The credit card goes back with the other five items and the spectator must now choose two items and place them at the center of the table for the magician to eliminate one. Let’s say the spectator chooses the mirror and the book. These are placed at the center of the table and the magician must eliminate one of these. The magician eliminates the book and places the mirror back with the other items. The magician now chooses the candle and the pencil to place at the center. The spectator eliminates the pencil and places the candle back with the others. The spectator picks the credit card and the candle and places them at the center. The magician eliminates the credit card and places the candle back with the other items. The magician picks the photo and the candle and places them at the center. The spectator eliminates the candle and places the photo back with the mirror which is the only item left. Since there are only two items left, the magician eliminates the photo. This leaves the mirror, which matches the prediction.
It works very simply, when the magician is giving the spectator two items to choose from, the prediction is never one of the items. If the spectator puts in the prediction item as one of the choices, the magician simply chooses the other item, leaving the prediction in play. One note though don’t have too many items to choose from, limit it to about 10 to 12. More than that gives the spectators a chance to see the pattern, and can figure out what is going on.