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Mark Elsdon

Published in the United Kingdom

Limited First Edition, 2010

Copyright© 2010 by Mark Elsdon. All Rights Reserved. Do not scan it, do not upload it. Thank
you. 2

Many thanks to: Paul Ingram Ben Earl Noel Qualter lain Moran Michael Murray Peter Nardi lan
Rowland For continued inspiration, kindness and friendship.

Special thanks to the contributors: Michael Weber Chris Carter Lee Earle Sean Taylor Chuck
Hickok Ran Pink For being so generous with their time, thinking and material.

And the deepest bow of all to: Deborah Elsdon You know everything- and thank goodness you're
not telling! You are not remotely interested in anything in this book, and that keeps me balanced
and grounded. Thank you. Love you always.


Table of Contents Page 7


Part 1- Mentalism Genesis Chapter 1- A Clarion Call To Originality

Page 11

Chapter 2- So, You Wanna Be A Mentalist?

Page 19

Chapter 3- Who Do You Think You Are?

Page 23

Chapter 4- What Is Wrong With You (Michael Weber)

Page 31

Chapter 5- Playing Your Trumpet

Page 35

Chapter 6- Imagining Superpowers (Chris Carter)

Page 41

Chapter 7- Being Memorable And Unforgettable

Page 49


Chapter 8- Why Most Mentalism Is (Insert Your Own Derogatory Word Here ... )

Page 59

Chapter 9- Comedy Is No Laughing Matter

Page 65

Part 2- Mentalism Revelations Chapter 10- A Manifesto: Motivational Mentalism (Lee Earle)

Page 69

Chapter 11- There Is Just One Rule: No Rules

Page 75

Chapter 12- Moving The Moment (Sean Taylor)

Page 79

Chapter 13- Making Connections (Chuck Hickok)

Page 85

Chapter 14- ONVI (Ran Pink)

Page 95

Chapter 15- The Revelations

Page 105


First of all, a very sincere "thank you!" for buying this book. It represents a lot of time spent
studying, thinking about, discussing, performing and refining mentalism. Ever since my friend
Paul Hallas inspired me to grow a goatee beard and cross over to the 'dark side' I haven't really
looked back. Although the industry at large knows me primarily as a close-up magician, my
friends and audiences will attest that I'm really only interested or happy when performing
mentalism. Following my conversion (on the road to Huddersfield!) it wasn't long before I
realised that it is the very last part of a mentalism performance, the revelation, which has the
most impact on the success and memorability of an effect. This led to a search for techniques


strategies that has so far lasted over a dozen years and is still far from over! In this book you will
find much of my current thinking about the state of the contemporary mentalism scene as well
as its often poor but occasionally brilliant performers. As the Chinese curse declares: we live in
interesting times. Mentalism is riding high and the mystery arts are proving ever more popular
with discerning audiences around the world. So please read this book in the spirit that it was
written: with the intent to share some powerful, proven ideas and techniques that I have
discovered on my travels. We're all in this together and I'm very happy to share with you some of
the fruits of my studies (of both the mentalism literature and human nature) and offer you some
direct paths to becoming a stronger, more memorable performer. Because that's what this book
is about: performing. If you are just reading this book for knowledge, then I think you'll enjoy it;
but if you are looking for some practical instruction on how to improve as a performer you will
get much, much more out of it. I must let you know. that I could well have titled this book " I've
Read A Ton Of Books, So You Don't Have To", or "Amazon Here We Come". There are a lot of
book recommendations herein, as well as constant admonition to read mhre. Quite a few of the
topics discussed in Mentalism Reveals are the subject of excellent books by people who are
experts in their field. Rather than plagiarising or quoting huge chunks of material from these
books I have in every case pointed you to the relevant author, title and publisher. Usually, on any
of the subjects at hand I have read pretty much all the relevant books (whether you think that
sounds boastful or simply sad tells me everything I need to know about you!) that are available
and always recommend the one(s) I think are the most applicable to mentalism performance. A
few words on terminology are probably a good idea so that we are working off the same page. I
completely agree with Paul Harris' 8

assertion that 'Astonishment Is Our Natural State Of Mind.' See his essay on page 5 of The Art of

Astonishment Volume 1 (Murphy's Magic, 2007) for further details. However, to describe the
more cerebral kind of impact a mentalism effect usually has (as opposed to the eye-candy of
magic effects) I prefer to use the word 'amazement' than 'astonishment' and that is the term
which is used throughout

Mentalism Reveals. Likewise, I am not a fan of the word (or role) 'spectator' in mentalism.
Consequently I use the words 'participant' or 'audience' throughout the book instead. I
genuinely work hard to ensure that anyone who sees me perform does participate and interact,
rather than just standing passively by and spectating, so the language I use reflects this. Finally, I
would like to thank Michael Weber, Christopher Carter, Lee Earle, Sean Taylor, Chuck Hickok and
Ran Pink for their invaluable contributions to this book, all of which are examples of brilliant and
insightful thinking from these gifted performers. So, enjoy, and I hope that the book proves as
stimulating for you to read as it was for me to write. Mark Elsdon Llandudno,2010



"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else." Margaret Mead
(probably) lfthere is one thing that can giveyou a high unlike anything else, it is concluding a
performance of original material and receiving the applause and comments that tell you that
people were completely amazed and thoroughly entertained. You come off stage thinking: "/

created and wrote everything that they just enjoyed so much".


Except of course that none of the material you (or I) create is ever truly 100% original. It might
be that you have a devised a brilliant new method for 'Sneak Thief'. But is that piece really yours,
or is it at least half Larry Becker's? What about if you have devised a powerful new
demonstration of mind-reading which uses one of Craig Filicetti's incredible electronic products,
is that all yours, or is some of it Craig's? In fact complete originality is almost impossible to
achieve, but nevertheless a lofty goal worth pursuing. The truth is that the more of yourself, the
more of your own ideas, premises, methods, lines or whatever that you put into your
performance then the more it will fit your persona, the more believable your performance will
be and the more enjoyment you will get from performing. And of course, as per the quote
above, you have the ability to add into the mix something which is unavailable to everyone else:
you! Whether you think it or not, you have the potentia l to devise and successfully perform
origina l and entertaining mentalism. What stands between that and where you are now?
Learning some new mental skills, some hard work and lots of play! Read on ... Closely allied to
being original is being creative, and this is far easier to accomplish. In fact If you look up the
word 'create' in the dictionary you will see that its Latin origins also mean 'to originate, or

invent'. ;

There are two very different paths to creativity (in a magic/mentalism context): 1. Complete
isolation that forces original thought and the development of original effects, sleights, methods
and presentations. This isolation is almost always enforced due to geographical isolation, but is
getting less and less likely thanks to the internet. However, those that have created material
borne of this isolation are usually startlingly original. Examples: Jerry Andrus, Gary Kurtz, Lennart


2. An openness to new ideas and combinations based on a wide knowledge-base. Building up a
library is essential, as is time spent in creative thought and brainstorming sessions, either alone
or with other performers. Trying out combinations of different effects and methods and a
willingness to play. Adapting single ideas to multiple contexts. Examples: Jay Sankey, David Regal,
Steve Beam. Although I have only given three examples of this second path to creativity, I could
easily give you dozens more, as it would include almost every magician and mentalist who relea
ses tricks, books or DVDs, myself included. As Isaac Newton wrote in 1676: "If (have seen a little
further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants". That's all of us. At the end of this chapter I
will give you some suggestions that will help you to be more original, but for now here are my
four essential tips for developing your creativity:

1. Keep a notebook and write in it everything you think about, even if it doesn't seem relevant to
anything at that moment. Effects that you like, methods that seem particularly clever or
deceptive and presentational ideas. Details of any performances, shows or lectures that are
inspirational because of how good they are or are instructional because of how bad they are.
Titles or concepts from TV shows, films or books that intrigue you. Poems, puzzles, websites-
anything and everything that might inspire your creativity. Keeping a notebook is essential. 2.
Study books on creativity and work through some of the exercises. Here is my 'Recommended
Reading' list: Roger von Oech- A Whack On The Side Of The Head (Warner Books, 1983) Roger
von Oech -A Kick In The Seat Of The Pants (HarperCollins 1986)


Michael Michalko- Thinkertoys (Second Edition, Ten Speed Press, 2006) Todd Siler- Think Like A
Genius (Bantam Press, 1997) Jack Foster- How To Get Ideas (Berrett-Koehler, 1996) Linda Perigo
Moore- You're Smarter Than You Think (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1985) Tom Stafford & Matt
Webb- Mind Hacks {O'Reilly, 2005) John Middleton- Upgrade Your Brain (Infinite Ideas, 2006} 3.
Make sure to exercise your brain daily. Just like your body, it gets flabby and tired easily without
regular exercise. And I mean proper exercise, not reading the TV listings! Try a crossword-puzzle,
or a Sudoku, or better still invest in Rubik's Cube and an instructional DVD (see what I did there?)
The brain has a section called the cerebral cortex. In this area, there are over twenty billion

Likewise. the knowledge it contains will repay you many times over. or. Whilst I have learnt from all of the books listed. :You'll thank me. Or a demonstration of group dynamics. but there is no need. it's all very well for me to wax lyrical about how wonderful it is to create original effects with original presentations and how great that is. If you are short of time. Keep at it! If you get bored or stuck working on a method try something else. plus it provides inspiration and fills your memory with knowledge that allows you to make creative connections more easily.neurons that link up with ten thousand synaptic connections. But for now.. However. Using the skills and techniques that you learn from the books on the Recommended Reading list above.. Most importantly. again make notes in your notebook. In fact. but simply make notes. I don't think that having a conversation with someone about the weather or last night's game is going to get enough of them fired up. just buy the Roger von Oech . buy books! Start building up a library and as well as providing you with much pleasure. you might choose to write a presentation that takes the form of a (true) story. some will turn out to rubbish & completely impractical. lots of notes. As well as these four tips I could have quoted some of the many excellent exercises from the above listed creativity books. 4. Roger's had the 14 most impact on me and were most instrumental in me developing good creativity skills. you just need to get started and to take it one effect at a time. or the fact that you've trained yourself to recognize subtle vocal inflections. Lots of great books and magazines that were long out-of- print are readily available again now through the Learned Pig project and lybrary. some will be boring and some will be brilliant. don't make those value judgements. you will learn how to combine old methods and how to devise lots of new methods. buy a copy of Dr Kawahima's Train Your Brain (Penguin Books. or a project you are working on . But how do you get started? Well. When you research additional methods for an effect you are considering learning. when you read a new {maybe just new to you) effect.. Go back to . Reading and processing new information is especially useful in exercising your brain. do you? If you want to get serious about exercising your brain. some will be 15 crazy. 2007). Read as much as you can about everything you can. one step at a time. or an account of something that happened to an older relative . and to offer tips on how to become more creative. since they are so well developed and explained in the books and half the fun is reading about them and trying them out yourself for the first time. as Eugene Burger has written about building a repertoire. don't just learn the method which that particular writer offers but do some research. there are one billion synapses in just one cubic millimetre in the cerebral cortex. whether it seems relevant to the project at hand or not. Maybe choose an effect that you particularly enjoy performing and come up with your own presentation for it: Or. There is no set way to do this. as with everything. Lose your fear and persist in creating lots of ideas. There are some great resources available online that can really help you with researching mentalism material. Or maybe it's a psychic research test. I' m sure you get the idea. but.. Make notes about anything that catches your eye.

your own or someone else' s. Have meaningful conversations. Go skiing. Don't watch TV.just play with them and get onto their level. Turn off the computer and don't constantly check Facebook and Twitter on your phone. It's irrelevant. Dress how you want. Invert: Anything you can. Or take one of your beliefs and decide to thin k the opposite. Express #2: Stop worrying about trying to look good. Expand: Read as much as you can. frantic-thenrelaxing way to spend a week. remove. Think about some of your friends and how much you love. Read the latest Hermetic Press book. 8. eh?! And yet it is not only doable. respect and admire them and then picture how badly they dress or style ·t heir hair and realise that it doesn't matter. don't play on your X-Box.writing that script that you started in your notebook. Ten Tips On Being Original 1. 7. however you want to do it. keep learning and keep taking notes! You'll soon marvel at how creative you become. Embrace the excitement of something new and enjoy the thrill of fear. 5. something that everyone you know would bet that you would never do. Don't want an iPhone? Then don't buy an iPhone. Realise that everyone else is worried about what you think of them. Don't read a book or a newspaper. enjoy yourself. anything! Have fun. keep reading. or riding. Stop following trends and believing that 16 anything you buy can make you a 'cooler' or more interesting person.ask questions and express opinions. Nobody cares how you look as much as you do. Especially if it takes you out of your comfort zone and even if it frightens you. Trends change all the time and it is an expensive and futile pursuit trying to follow them. Anything you want.. How impossible does this sound. 6. Play: Stop concentrating on work and being so serious! Spend (extra) time with children. stop! You've been there. So stop acting like it does. Carry on developing the presentation that you had a great idea for but never got around to working on properly. Smile more. I only know because I' ve actually done it! I dare you to give it a go. Read one of those old books on your shelf that you've never got around to. It is very liberating. Really do it! And then genuinely try to justify this new point of view.maybe that Alan Shaxon book or that bound volume of the Jinx. Lead: Stop following everyone else. Dance how you want. 2. 9. meet as many different people as you can. but a very eye-opening. 4. or dye your hair blue. Be your own muse. throw away or withdraw (from) whatever it is and head in the opposite direction. Stop worrying about what anyone else thinks. meditate on what you know. . don't watch a film. Do the New: Do something that you've always wanted to do. Broaden your horizons. 17 10. done that. Reject: If you find yourself going over old ground. keep playing. 3. Contemplate: Spend a week w ith just your own thoughts. Do something. Do something you wouldn't normally do. Don' t try to teach them anything for once.. travel as widely as you can. And none of it matters. Delete. so it's a waste of time. Express: Do exactly what you want.

So sit back. rather appropriately.Read: Another book recommendation for you and another one of my favourites: Hugh Macleod -Ignore Everybody (Portfolio. 18 t~ I So. I've never really thought about it. Not because I believe that !'have something special to say. or to impress people (both perfectly acceptable motivations!) then maybe. Without those answers you will be ju~t another performer doing 'material'. it doesn' t matter to me what your motivation is. being creative and much more. Hugh's book is based on his Change This Manifesto (Google it) and is about being original. If you already have aspirations. I don't know. with the milliondollar question: w hy do you wa nt to perform mentalism? Here are some possible reasons: It's my job. I like freaking people out. to really connect with people. your sole reason for performing is to earn money. It's a good way to meet people. but whatever you wrote. If. and ask yourself that question: Why do I really want to perform mentalism? Write your answer(s) down here: 20 There are no 'wrong' answers (and if you are like me. . the first part of this book will prompt you to want more from performing. 2009). to make it matter. Because to laymen mentalism is more believable than magic. maybe even needs. I enjoy showing people the potential we all have within us. The fact is. It's easier than perform ing magic. it will colour everything which follows. just maybe. then read this book carefully. especiallY women . at the moment. 19 I love the attention I get. let's start at the beginning. A mixture of several of the above. to accomplish more with your performance. but simply because I have spent a lot of time thinking about the questions which might prompt you to decide on your own answers. and it's an easier way to earn a living than having a 9-to-5 job. there will be more than one). Of course. unless you make a decision about the real rea son why you are performing mentalism then you are never going to be the best performer you can be. but is sure as hell does matter to you and your audiences. It's as simple as that. I'm not very confident and performing rnakes me seem more interesting. Only when you have decided on your true motivation for performing can you really set a goal as to what you hope to accomplish as a performer. right now. studY it. think about it.

so let me start by telling you my motivations. As to what I hope to accomplish. Sure. making myself memorable in the process. using an egg bag. I want them to say something along the lines of. well that will take a little bit more explaining. Basically. in contrast. As much as I love close-up magic (it's one of my favourite hobbies!) it can never be as strong as mentalism. "We met this guy last night called Mark Elsdon. He was incredible! He had a way of faking reading your mind so that it seemed like he was really inside your head." And that to me is everything. so long as they remember me.. when presented with a plausible premise.. And I want to get well paid for doing that. It was so weird!! He knew where I was born and he made a coin bend in my hand without even touching it -look here it is!" 1don't even mind if they can't really remember any of the actual effects or demonstrations I perform.. along with premise and powers vs. As Derren Brown wrote in Pure Effect (H&R Books. I approach mentalism from the angle that it is 'magic for adults'. Of course the question "is that really possible?" would have been quickly answered if what they have just seen was a magic trick. it can be brilliant en~ertainment. the answer would be "No!" But with mentalism the answer is "Maybe . rope etc.I know that sounds like a chicken-and-egg situation. on the other hand. I want to be the coolest. j ust a slight shift in perspective changes the experience. If what I did was so odd that they can't really describe it. You see. " or even "Yes!" and in that moment you have the opportunity to make a real connection with the person. or they became a little 22 overwhelmed with the cumulative effect of the weird 'stuff' going onthat's great. what I really want is to play with people's perceptions.. "did I j ust see that?" or "what the hell just happened?" or my favourite. First of all. far from it. mentalism is the only believable type of magic. because everyone knows that it is simply a trick. linking rings. And we all know where that led. My motivations are simple: I want to enjoy myself by performing material that makes people feel amazed and prompts them to question what they know about how the world works. So. So to put it succinctly : to me. and what I hope to accomplish when I perform mentalism and it might help you to make a decision about your own goals. As my friend Alain Nu said to me once: " Magic focuses heavily on what is impossible. mess with their head a little and impress them as a very unusual (extraordinary?) individual. However. skills. most interesting person they meet this week. It fits in beautifully with Alain's thought that mentalism focuses on what just might be possible. 2000) "I find that most intelligent spectators are more interested in the psychological techniques than the sleight-of-hand". performing something incredible that just might be possible is not the real goal of my performance. but on no level is it perceived as anything other than 'a trick'. "is that really possible?" What 1particularly like about that last question as a response (whether it is said aloud or just thought) is that it means that the participant definitely just had a genuinely affecting experience. even if they are Bono! Now of . Likewise with cabaret magic. This aspect of believability will be discussed fully in a later chapter. focuses heavily on what is possible. whereas mentalism. A good mentalism effect. so that is what I choose to perform. can provide genuine amazement for the 21 audience as they catch their breath and ask themselves. So my goal is this: when people who have seen me perform describe their experience to their friends the following day.

. humour. it is difficult to build anything other than superficial relationships with . poetry. . My 'mission statement' if you like. puzzles. often replete with a costume or outfit of some sort. .• . But do think about it because if you have no goal in performing other than to show a few tricks or to get paid. particularly if your work as a performer leads to other roles as a host. that is truer than true. ~·~ . Further. 23 . it is not going to make me universally loved. some (very off-the-wall} magic.. So now you know mine. So there you have it. the performer then has to act out that role every time he performs. -~ -~ '7oday you are You.. Seuss.. general knowledge. and anyway it will probably change quite a bit as you read the rest of this book. however. Most contemporary magic books that discuss character and persona offer a choice of two very distinct paths. Give it some thought." Dr. live with that.:~ . style and a million other factors prevent me being 'cool' in the usual showbiz sense of the word. so I use the other tools that are at my disposal. speaker or even trainer of some description. it's time to start working on your own. or even liked. and ind eed often outside of performance as well. ~ . 25 The 'complete character' act is difficult to pull off. My goal. albeit an amplified version of yourself. then you are missing out! And so are you r audiences. Effectively. requiring as it does major commitment to both the planning of the character and then inhabiting that role on a long-term basis thereafter. You don't have to do it right this second. or you can be yourself. effectively act ing as an entirely separate person. charm and bravado to be someone unlike anyone they know and someone they would love to spend more time with..course. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. Now of course this is an idealistic goal and so I know that whilst this approach works very well for me with most people. This begins to make matters very complicated. Either you can be a 'complete character'. weight. For every 95 people who think I am the coolest person they've met this week I' m sure that there are another 5 who dismiss me as a fat show-off! I can. I mix mentalism. my age.

At its most basic level. four should be very close friends (who have known you for a long time) and four should be magician/mentalism friends. as it will provide you with the basis for everything else. and they won't either. If ten out of the twelve people write that you are a kind and gentle person. Further. In fact I can only think of one person who has managed to commit to this 'character act' for what has effectively become a lifetime. and that will be the end of their curiosity about the matter. tell them that you honestly don't mind what they write. Don't make a big deal out of it. Here is a better way. and you will have to live with it for the foreseeable future. the work you do to establish and develop your persona will have a very direct and tangible impact on the premises and material you choose as well as on your style of performance. So for most. Further. Self-awareness and honesty in this regard is notoriously challenging and thus enlisting the help of others is definitely advised. Four should be family members. And he is a special case (and I mean that in the most complimentary sense) . just that they are very optimistic! By the way. 27 What you are essentially doing is shaping a persona that takes the best of your personality and . the goal of developing your persona. 26 The likelihood is that instead you will see a style of performance that you enjoy watching and decide to try to adopt that style whether it fits your personality or not. in an attempt to decide on a style that you think you might enjoy adopting. Tell them that they can write anything they choose but that they must be honest. then pursuing your character as a sarcastic funnyman is never going to work! Basing your persona on the opinions of other people (whom you trust) rather than on your own opinion is by far the most practical and direct route to success. Most performers have an overly-positive and sometimes idealistic view of themselves (their natural personality) that isn't quite in tune with how the rest of the world views them. tell them that you can't talk about it until after the whole thing is over (whatever that means!) · When you read what these people write about you two things will happen: firstly you will get a surprise and secondly you will have the basis of your persona. it is obvious that you need to get your persona just right. I don't think that this is a good idea. You need to ask them to make a list of your three best personality traits. since it is all just data that is being used for this 'performance training program' that you mentioned. is simply a matter of being yourself. Some writers recommend that you watch DVDs of a wide variety of magicians and mentalists. Since this is how people already perceive you. only more so. You are going to ask twelve people you know well to help you out. The practicality of developing a performing personality built on what is basically your own personality is obvious. and that is Uri Geller. then it makes sense to use these characteristics as your building blocks. If anyone presses you for more information.colleagues and clients with whom you could otherwise build on going friendships. if not all of us. it is also smarter. I include myself in this group. but there are still a lot of decisions to be made and work to be done before you can confidently claim that you have truly established a persona. Since so much depends upon it. It's not that they are delusional. Tell them it is for a 'performance training program' that you are helping to develop. using our own personality as the basis for our character is not only easier.

Are you intelligent? Rude? Gentle? Qu ick-witted? Deep? Weird? You might th ink that some of these six descriptions would be difficult to build a persona on. I don't mean being over the top. mumble or lisp? Do you have a limp. at work. out for a drink with friends. then there are a couple of options open to you . it's about you. You can engage with the book as deeply as you choose. Whilst playing to your strengths and amplifying you strongest traits you also want to stay natural! Almost as bad as the performer who hasn't decided on or developed a persona is the performer who has no fluidity because he is overanalysing everything. there will be one that best describes you. is an essenti'al one. and then forgetting how it feels. However. that of perfecting your persona. All traits that make for an attractive and dynamic persona. so that you can step up into your performance mode at a moment's notice. performing is not about the tricks or material. 29 A4J . Please bear in mind that whilst this project. throw . stammer. 2007). To practice being this new or newly adapted performing persona I suggest doing what you would do if you were learn ing to classic palm a coin: do it when there is no need. something that makes you stand out from the crowd. a readier smile. whilst your persona will have many character traits. Likewise with the 'enhanced and amplified personality' which is your performing persona. You never know when the ability to be able to do this will pay dividends. with better posture. and you can do it better than anyone else on the planet.. think about asking another performer whose work you respect to give you some help. and yet they are each the defining characteristic of my six favourite stand- up comedians! Don't make too much hard work out of this. Tell him what you goal is and ask for some.. The best way to learn to classic palm a coin is to keep one classic palmed throughout the day. Firstly I can recommend Victoria Lynn Schmidt's book 45 Master Characters (Writer's Digest Books. It should be an enjoyable though perhaps eye-opening exercise and remember that you are simply building on who you really are anyway. and there is plenty of useful information if you just need a helping hand to developing or finetune your persona. Look for a hook. Most performers will be pleased to help. whilst eating. So learn how to turn this persona on and off. Alternatively. more awareness. It is ideal for magicians and mentalists looking to adapt an archetypal character to fit themselves. generally more . that doesn't mean that it is particularly difficult or that you should overthink it. Amplify the strongest. but being more attentive. To conclude: remember it's great to be you. if you do struggle with this. magnetic. more expressive gestures. better diction. Remember that ultimately. whilst 28 watching TV etc.direction. ' Are you fat? Are you bald? Do you stutter. a more attentive listener. because it is just there. Being likable is the key to having a successful and cohesive person a. having dinner with your partner.allows you to express it in performance environment. Act as if you are performing whilst you at work. Overall. At first allowing you to get used to how it feels. outside of the performance environment.

the basics have been discussed at length with some of mentalism's finest exponents and have been used to more fully develop the stage and screen performance personas of some serious players. control your thoughts. I suggest one of the overlooked problems with that approach (besides too many powers") is that the spectator is left watching a performer who is much easier to hate than love. All of the classic super heroes have their above and beyond abilities. sense and avoid both the acid- filled beaker and the cupcovered dagger while they find the envelope with all the money all leading up to telling who is lying and telling the truth. don't tell. knowing the word you peeked in the book.your head backwards in a nervous tic. Since then. show. I wil l be waiting for you backstage where I will give you the gift of a . Someday the entire approach will see publication within the fraternity. Lucky because you have a potentially challenging aspect to your daily life which will make your mentalism persona exponentially more interesting. Phew. but these are balanced by several other factors. one would have to hope they were bitten by a very radioactive spider to have any chance of thinking these stories could ever be their stories. but for now. Barely enough energy left to link those finger rings and see through that blindfold. suffer from dyslexia. I would not want to pay the price he had to pay. or being the orphaned child of millionaire parents. big vocabulary and themes that make their special skills enviable. real and complete. here is a small and counter intuitive part of the larger theory. In other words. They can know your thoughts. but if you go into some lengthy "I discovered I could know the word people peeked at in the upper left corner of a book I was holding after being struck by lightning" story and I am in the audience and forced to suffer through it." Most mentalists do everything they can to be superior and imposing to their audiences and perfect in every way over which they have control : slick hair. My proposed solution is a big fucking dose of reality and incorporating that truth into your performance persona in a way that the audiences go home knowing it without you ever telling them about it. Short of reincarnation on another planet doomed for destruction. finding the right key to the lock. and have eyesight so poor that your glasses are thicker than bottle bottoms? Do you look like a troll? Lucky you. one of which is this- when we watch them we cal} think to ourselves "As amazing as it would be to have those abilities. Batman and The X-Men were having a very good time at the movie box office. I wrote a lengthy essay and a talk on my 'Super Hero Theory of Mentalism' which was presented at the first Luke Jermay Workshop in Las Vegas. 31 In 1990 I had a sudden insight: classic Super Heroes like Spiderman. able to do the rapid and seemingly complex mathematics necessary to construct a Magic Square and after all that still have enough energy to memorize which cards from a shuffled deck are being held by two or more 3Z spectators. dark clothes. Audiences were willing to leave their homes and pay money because they wanted to watch the stories of these characters that were unlike the people in the audience in profound ways. 11 You are allowed to mention your defect if it is not visibly apparent from the back row seats.

this issue is not as important. wholeheartedly and unquestioningly. progress to things that are more unbelievable. I wouldn' t want to pay t hat price. Your premises and claims need to be well worked out in advance. He goes on to explain that this gives the audience something to latch onto.permanent and more obvious physical malformat ion so you can keep your yap shut and. a more fleshed out. 35 But up on stage. as long as we just signpost the way. and therefore what it will look like. People are usually a lot smarter than we give them credit for. and they can quite easily follow the map themselves. cabaret or theatre audience." When you figure out what is real and true for you and you alone. without the performer having to explicitly state th at he can read minds. you should then do this without explaining the supposed 'method' to the audience. A show outline that has worked very well for many performers.just let the audience figure it out for themselves in all future performances. or a magic square). including myself. 33 Mark Elsdon's notes on Weber's essay: 1was originally going to write a chapter for Mentalism Reveals titled 'Killing The Hero'. subtle and effective. More about this is the next chapter. You also have the opportunity to respond to people's questions and theories there and then. that this is what you are doing" (pl17. And Weber's insistence that you let your 'flaw' make itself apparent without necessari ly talking about it is fundamental to the success of this approach. The idea is to start with something that is very believa ble (perhaps so me rapid memorization. It reminded me of something very telling which Derren Brown has talked about at length. and your audiences will love you more and never understand why. but still just . What will this do for you? It will make your stage persona a more real. But you know. During a close-up or casual performance of ll)entalism. I don' t think I would want to be him. whether for a corporate. 34 Another component part of your success as an entertaining mentalist which is closely related to your persona is whether you choose to present your mental abilities as powers or skills (or both). when you truly and deeply understand what is wrong with you and can incorporate it into your performance and stage persona in a way that is natural. both in his books and in lectures (back when he was still giving them) : " However you decide that mind reading is achieved. You should just believe. your show will grow. since you can instruct each individual as to how they should perceive what you are doing and can easily blur the lines between powers and skills and still keep complete focus and clarity. complete and complex character. is Pascal de Clermont's Pyramid of Believability. ~ut Weber's enlightened and enlightening essay has made it redundant. you will grow. Your audiences will be able to enjoy you and your show even more when they can go home and honestly remark "that guy could do the most amazing things I have ever seen in my life. adapting your choice of material and even presentation as you go. Pure Effect). things are quite different.

levitate or teleport a physical object or system with using any physical energy or contact} Sightless Vision Invulnerability The abilities in Level Three are such a big ask for an audience that is impossible to perform them right at the start of your show without either: a. Claiming that you really have this ability. Similarly. The audience concluding that it is obviously a trick and they are watching a magic show. by building up to them. Confrontation 3. Perform an effect 3. rather than being transferred from the mind of one individual to another as in Telepathy) Psychometry (the· ability to make relevant associations from an object of unknown history by making physical contact with that object) Telepathy (the ability to read others' thoughts and mental contents) Level Three (Most people think that these mental abilities do not exist. performing an entertaining mentalism show. and in his book Mentalism Incorporated (Development Productions Press. is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs a(ld things will quickly get out of hand and you will be discredited (at b~st) or derided as a fraud (at worst). is that it is heading in the wrong direction from where you want to be. or a prediction). 2002) Chuck groups mental abilities into a three- level ranking. 2008}. It is a very useful idea and one which will allow us to discuss the whole powers vs. Likewise.maybe within the realms of possibility {lie detection. i. Repeat until your time is up That outline is to be avoided at all costs! 36 Another writer who employs Pascal's outline is Chuck Hickok. The problem with point a. transform. Set-up 2. influence. Introduce an effect 2. Here are the levels: Level One: (Most people believe these mental abilities exist and can be learned or developed. Pascal's Pyramid fulfils the same need. b. So these Level Three abilities must be placed into context. And with that information being gained directly from an external physical source. some psychometry) and finally concluding with something that is obviously impossible (maybe some metal bending. Incidentally. The standard story structure as used in literature also usually has a three act (beginning. person.e. the problem with point b. location or physical event through means other than the known human senses. which is tantamount to claiming that you have some kind of (super} power. if you would like to know more about storytelling. During the . skills question from a more meaningful base. middle and end} outline: 1. Resolution This provides the 'introduction-tension- climax/denouement' story arc which is the basis of all good storytelling. or other kinds of reading Clairvoyance (the ability to gain information about an object. Following t his basic three-step outline sidest eps the usua l magic or mentalism show outline which looks more this: 1. control. probably the only book you'll need is Nancy l amb's The Art and Craft of Storytelling (Writer's Digest.) Aura reading. or mentally influencing someone's choices Level Two: (Some people believe that these abilities exist and may be possible to learn or develop.) 37 Precognition (the ability to successfully and consistently predict (know?) future outcomes and events) Remote Viewing Q & A Demonstations Psychokinesis (the ability to move.) Enhanced mathematical abilities Enhanced memory skills People-reading skills Truth or lie detection Psychological persuasion.

I have just looked through the Table of Contents and discovered that it contains 73 effects and routines (excluding the bonus instructions for Larry's marketed items). keep notes. the audience will accept your initial claims. the weaker their impact. design duplication. if you really love one of the aforementioned six. once you move past a certain number of professed abilities there is a credibility factor involved. Seek out material that no one else is performing. Well. Go back and read the preceding chapter again. Certainly. 38 You are the only one who can decide exactly which mentalism effects and which abilities you decide to include in your show. play. Or. but in this case I do believe there is a wrong answer: lots. So why perform the same six effects (magic square. As things move from completely believable through to absolutely unbelievable. Demonstrate your mental abilities with displays of powers 39 and skills that are completely unlike what everyone is doing. explore. with each claim being only slightly greater than the one before. Whilst I don't stick to this myself. they move incrementally. Also. Read. I don't mean everybody and I know I'm generalising. So what about the other 60+ effects? Are they not as good as the well-known Sneak Thief. I have a presentation that gives it meaning and that is what makes all the difference. different skills and different effects to everyone else. Some Total Radio and Russian Roulette? Hardly! I think that the far greater likelihood is that both you and I have only ever really read or tried out the ones that we have seen other people do. As an example to get you started. And this is the brilliance of Pascal's Pyramid! It offers the perfect structure. knife or spike-roulette and newspaper prediction) as everyone else? Make a conscious decision to show your mental abilities using different powers. 2002). nail. I have just looked at my copy of Larry Becker's book Stunners Plus (Aplar Publishing. I use one of those effects in every single show I do. and no apologies here! But. transform and shine! The final question you must answer is how many different abilities should you display in a single performance or show? As usual there is no right answer. I think the more powers and skills a performer shows (or claims). book test. However. make sure you have something very different to say with your performance of it. don't settle for it any longer! Don't follow the herd. until at the conclusion when each audience member looks back on the show the line is so blurred that they will find it impossible to decide where fact became fiction. follow the road less travelled. and will continue to do so your show builds. if you start with something believable yet impressive.course of the show. and heaven knows. This is one of the best known and best-selling books of mentalism material ever released. out of those 73 effects I have only ever seen about 5 or 6 performed and 3 of those were separate commercial releases at one time or another. spoon bending. but I hope you get the point. there have been enough books and manuscripts published (never mind the glut of tricks and props released) for every performing mentalist in the world to perform a completely different set of material every single time they perform. build. Get off the path. remember that each . I think a very convincing argument could be made for demonstrating just one ability. but in a variety of ways. and is rightly regarded as a classic.

although you suspect that others may one day be able to as well. Who knows what other untapped potentials remain dormant in each one of us? But more importantly. you might sense his reluctance. hoping that he succeeds. You need a running start in order get aloft. This is definitely one situation where less is more. 41 undiscovered territory of physics that no scientist has yet described. and this is important. even though you may be doubtful. is one of pure joy. the discovery of this power is quite simply the most significant event in your life until now. they assume you're lying. Each demonstration 42 may be theatrically compelling in its own way. and it doesn't come easy. Then. When people hear about it. when you do prove yourself. Being aloft is no more novel to you than taking a walk to the corner grocery. but this time. the emotion you experience. You'd love to find a way of describing this emotion. oc. now you know he can. However. it's something you've been doing all your life. There's no particular emotion associated with it. perhaps you are hoping he falls flat on his face. you're the only person in the world who can fly. But beyond that. but each will tell a very different story and engage your imagination in a very distinctive way. As far as you know. you're the only human on earth that can do this. It's better than you ever imagined it in your dreams.casionally you don't get airborne at all. But to be honest. Now imagine you have the ability to fly. they look at you as if you're some sort of freak. At first you were doubtful that the performer could pull it off. what is 'revealed' is much more than the fact that the performer can fly? What is revealed is a snapshot . sometimes you have to push off a chair or dive off a ledge. instead of it being something new to you. you're inclined to keep your skill to yourself. you may also be cheering him on. it's just something you do. Both experiences have this in common. and up you go. Imagine that you have the ability to fly. As a consequence. As far as you know. but words fail utterly. Can we not also see that in each case. you can't help feeling a little resentful. you simply think about it. It takes no effort at all. imagine you are a witness to a demonstration by each of the above aerialists. With the second performer. demonstrating your power has become a damn nuisance. the feeling of flying. \. With the first performer. but instead come crashing to the ground. p~rformance? What would be your emotional state at the conclusidn of each? What might you be thinking the moment each flier left the ground? Think of the flying as a moment of revelation. Finally. 40 Imagine you have a superpower.individual effect can have multiple demonstrations of the same amazing ability (back to Hickok's 'Multiple Moments'). and when you do share it. You suddenly realize that there is a vast. With the second. even his bitterness. You just discovered this ability a few days ago. you would sense his eagerness to share this discovery with you. Which do you think would be the more exciting or theatrically satisfying. what? Can we not see that your reaction to this moment of revelation depends entirely on the context that led up to it? With the first performer.

the act of demonstration is a natural result. of course. Getting A Superpower When I was a boy. many possible things to consider when creating our roles. that you cannot wait to share them with others. the opening circumstances are that a female audience member has been asked to concentrate on the name of her first childhood crush. It wasn't so much that I actually believed I could become a ninja. I believe that how we construct this role is crucial in guiding our audience toward the moment of the 'reveal. What is also revealed is a shadowy view into the way the universe is constructed. his relationship to you. Is there a 'T'? Yes? Keep thinking. What are the things we can and cannot do? But to my mind.' There are. Or a ninja! To me. but has no meaning and creates no emotion without all that has come before. I was tempted to say that the 'reveal' is in fact the least important part of the demonstration. An Example: One of Chris's Reveals Consider the following possible scripts. lm~gine my delight when. We will certainly want to establish the parameters of our abilities. Really focus. Think for example of Uri Geller bending a spoon. Why would somebody want to bend a spoon? Perhaps because each bending of a spoon illustrates that what you thought you knew about the very fabric of the cosmos is utter trash. the one thing I wanted more than anything else in life was to become an architect. On the other hand. As mentalists we each play the role of superhero for a few moments each day. but that isn't quite correct. later in life. I believed that a world in which I couldn't become a ninja was a world I wanted no part of. Are we excited by them? Are we frightened by them? Are we 43 bored by them? Are they abilities we want to share with others. We will want to establish a backstory to explain how we came about our special talents. Imagine his excitement as the spoon begins to bend. the unique timbre of the 'reveal' is produced in part by his attitude toward his ability. Ever. the greatest cosmic injustice of all was the fact that I was born without superpowers. To my mind. I'm getting a letter 'T'. It would be better to say the reveal is the consummation of it all. Rather. So it is with all of us. his feeling about his unique ability. (Pause) . Thing. It hints at a world of unseen forces and untapped potentials. or if you're bored by them. you will probably have some difficulty justifying their demonstration. I discovered that I could give myself superpowers. perhaps more importantly. the spectator. if you make the theatrical decision that your skills are forever exciting and fresh to you. It's as if each demonstration is an excuse to peek through the veil into another world. Script One: Mentalist: "Concentrate on the name. each was an equally realistic option . It is the end result of an organic whole. and that fact is exciting! It is in fact the Most. even if for only an hour a night. In each case. the most important thing to establish is our attitude towards our abilities. or if you consider them something to be ashamed of.of who the performer really is. If you hate your powers. or are they abilities we would rather hide? Establishing our attitudes about our special powers is a necessary first step in part because doing so goes a long way toward providing a motivation for performing at all. Exciting. It offers a brief glimpse of his personal journey. In Geller's case.

') "Got it!" Script Two: Mentalist: "This is going to require some imagination." Mentalist: "Eight? Then you might want to imagine him a little shorter. Say it now!" "Really?! Wow! Say it again! (Mentalist laughs to himself. In truth.I don't know if I have this. say his name in your mind. (Pause. Perhaps it's something of a straw man. produces no apparent emotional reaction in performer number one. but see his eyes. I'm biased. 'Ohh. of course. Even after all these years. on the other hand. which one strikes you as more interesting theatrically? Which one seems more powerful? Which do you think will garner the strongest reaction from the audience helper? You probably won't be surprised when I tell you that I think the second one is better. Now. let's look at what the first script is lacking.' Is that it? Peter?" Helper: ''Yes. And possibly with more hair! But try to see him. but then again I'm not so sure. but see his face. I can hear you saying. is what I imagine as a fairly typically unimaginative presentation of a mindreading effect. Not out loud. (Pause} Look at my face. but see this boy. I can still hear passion in your voice. It's something I use as a 'teaser' when I'm walking through a campus cafeteria drumming up an audience for my evening show. what was the name? 44 Helper: "Peter~" Mentalist: (turning over his notepad to reveal the word 'Peter. why is it so? First. In Script One. what is the performer's attitude toward his superpower? It's barely discernible.) "That's amazing. Look at me." "How old was this boy when you had a crush on him?" Helper: "Eight. but hear your inner voice say it. I'll write it down. since that is the actual script I use during a billet routine I constructed for walk-around purposes when I'm entertaining on college campuses." Mentalist: "Wow! That mvst have been some crush!" 45 Of these two possible 'reveals'. the only emotional reaction . Apparently there' s soflle challenge to it.. it might best be defined as 'look at the cool thing I can do. by which I mean the moment the thought is received. but it couldn't be much or he would show some surprise and delight upon its completion..' The actual moment of mental contact. But assuming the second script is better. Peter!. (Pause) Look in my eyes.) Now. The former script. but to the extent that it can be detected.

this one finds mind- reading to be somewhat difficult. Imagination requires work. crucial elements of context are ignored. will be similarly detached. . the statement "I don't know if I have this. There is simply no path down which the audience can be guided. There are many other differences we could examine. I fantasized it right. but now we know why: the helper has to concentrate in a really specific way. i submit. 46 How about Script Two? In this one the character of the performer expresses something that could be called a point of view. A fantasy is a wish. The moment of thought reading is not disconnected from the process as it in the first script. metaphorically. and that's really more of a strut than a genuine emotion. Or a ninja! But I didn't imagine these things. has everything to do with how you've set up the reveal. In fact. what is the process of mindreading? Again. The reason for the difference. and not only because of the attention it draws to himself. There is a difference. When we fully imagine something. In think it's possible that the helper in Script One will be amazed. would be the difference in the way the audience reacts when her thought is revealed. apparently receiving information from it. but his attitude toward his power is much more discernible than the first. I think there her reaction will be more one of puzzlement. Something about the way the helper is thinking is so enjoyable that he asks her to think it again. the performer is . The rest of the audience. let out a little scream. and as she goes through each step. Unless it follows naturally from context. but also because it seems to be fun simply to make a mental connection with another person. it is fleshed out. if you really could pick up thoughts. detailed. It's pure ether. you read her mind. The performer explicitly spells out how the helper must concentrate. but I don't think she will react with shock. Imagine you can read minds. the one thing I wanted more than anything else in life was to grow up to be an architect. I know from experience that the helper in Script Two will turn red. Apparently the helper must 'concentrate. and there will be no doubt in the minds of the onlookers that you didn't merely guess her word. When a thing is imagined. A hope." is going to strike the helper as a trifle insincere? Will she be rooting for the performer to be correct? I doubt it. I believe. We know this because the moment of mental connection produces in him an experience of surprise and delight. for the performer in Script One. wouldn't you feel something? Now. I expect. In Script One. Why not? What is the source of his insecurity? Don't you think that if these questions are left unanswered in the minds of the spectator. As with the first performer. And the process of mind reading in Script Two? Again. the reveal has no meaning. but that work is what enables us to guide the imaginations of others. It's only a very brief bit of dialogue. The performer here is also excited by the act of mind-reading. on a foundation of ideas. Seriously. but the most important difference. and hold her hands in front of her face. it's more clearly defined.the performer shows at all is when he demonstrates that he.' But how? What exactly does that mean? The performer is not certain he got it right. we construct it. Instead it seems to be the natural result of a necessary progression. 47 Conclusion Imagine you have a superpower. it's barely discernible. Isn't that basically what we do as mentalists? Imagine that we can read minds? When I was a child.

~- .l.. ::Ji~C .. -:.~.· . .:·· ' e J I .•."'!"'..1 So now you have decided why you want to perform mentalism and you have established (or are on the way to establishing) a persona which will allow you to be the most effective and powerful .:.··· i i • .48 't ' • . W . .

You have decided on what you want to say with your performance and the format that it will take . the conversation goes something like this: "We were at a party at so-and-so's house and the other night and we met this guy called Mark Elsdon. have a look!" "No way! So. Is that a sad indictment of the performers involved or the state of our industry as a whole? Probably both. I have already explained in an earlier chapter what my goal is in performing. One of the saddest and strangest things about contemporary magic and mentalism is the effort that has been collectively expended to make the tricks memorable rather than the performers! Sometimes when I used to do a close-up magic gig I would meet people who had seen some close-up magic somewhere else before. and from now on you and your name.he made the coin bend in my hand! I've still got the coin here. memorable to the audience. impressive material which is congruent with your character and can connect with an audience. was he like a magician or something?" "I suppose so. Whatever your choices. : Note. He was doing the most incredible things. some of it will demonstrate an unusual talent you've developed and some of it will showcase a strange power you claim to have. 50 Walkaround. More importantly. because it means that it could have been any other (good) performer doing those tricks and the audience's experience would have been just the same. but he wasn't really doing any tricks or anything like that. for the purposes of this chapter it will be assumed that you are performing strong. 49 What next? Well. Maybe some of your performance (close-up) or show (stage) will showcase the extraordinary skills you have. My aim is that when people recount the details of my performance to their friends. In fact.. I still use the same techniques that I developed severa l years ago. and the goal of these techniques is similar. Every single one of them was able to recount to me an effeq (or their wildly inaccurate recollection of it!) but none of them could ever remember the performer's name. it goes beyond that.. But with j ust a little bit of work you can do better than that and avoid the pitfalls of being just another interchangeable performer. telling us where we'd like to go on holiday and the date on a coin in my pocket. you need to make it memorable. and.. It was more like psychology and. Close-up and Casual Performance Although these days when I perform a walkaround or close-up gig the material I perform will be almost entirely mentalism or my SRS reading system. He put a word inside Jill's head . you have to make yourself memorable.. I can't really explain it! He was just doing crazy weird stuff. and then get this. Are you happy to just perform a bunch of tricks that you like? As long as you are performing them in an entertaining way which provides the audience with an amazing experience then that is of course great! But what does that tell them about you? If it doesn't tell them anything about you then that is a shame. You have to be impossible to forget. before we go any further: the selection of material is discussed at length in other chapters of this book. family or workmates.performer that you are capable of being. These techniques are designed to make me and my name.

By the way. Now. During that future conversation both parties will use my name. them for it. let's give this a try then. A group of six people will get to hear me say my name six times. I say. in Jess than a minute!" And so it goes. Usually.' exactly what I had written an the paper/ and they'll say 'Well he must have seen you write it!' So I want you to remember and fix in 1 52 your mind. I'm (next handshake) Mark Elsdon . you'll say And then this guy Mark Elsdon freaked me out by telling me bit by bit.and made her think of it! I checked him out on You Tube and he solves a Rubik's Cube with a blindfold on. But you get the idea. 'Well there must have been some way that this Mark Elsdon could se_e into the paperr So I want you to check it out. that no one in the whole world saw what you wrote down. that's my goal. And the techniques and strategies I am sharing with you here in this chapter are designed to maximise the chances of something like the above conversation taking place.. but the practicalities of the situation are that I want them to remember me and not vice versa. Hello (handshake) Mark Elsdon. using my name: " Hello. Further. " When you are telling your friends about what happened here today. Mark (handshake) Elsdon. Hi. effectively writing the 'future in advance." And so on . Another technique I use is the 'projected future conversation'.. I know that it is very likely just wishful thinking that the spectator's friend will .. right now. 51 What's In A Name? If they are going to remember your name. pleased to meet you. " "Okay. right now. If I need to use someone's name when I invite them to be a participant in something I perform. " Can you see what I'm doing here? There are multiple techniques in action. even if they tell me! I'm not being rude." "And then your friends will say. I'm Mark Elsdon. I make sure I shake everyone's hand and introduce myself to them individually. Agreed?" "Agreed. they have to hear your name more than once. The spectator will have a future conversation with their friends about my performance and describe what they saw in glowing terms.. and be certain that no one in the worldcould see what's written on that paper. but the two I want to point out to you in this context are the pre-suppositions that: 1. About you . t hen they have to learn it. It should go without saying that if someone has their hands full I won't force them to struggle in order to shake my hand. It seems obvious I know. 2. Are you certain?" "Yes. Whenever I am introduced to a group. So. I don/t try to remember the name of any of the people whose hands I shake. but you'd be surprised how many performers never properly introduce themselves. Mark Elsdon (handshake). then I will simply and politely ~sk. Let me give you an example (the following effect is fully described in Part Two of the boo k): I am about to reveal the name of a playing card that the spectator has written down on a piece of paper/ which they have folded up into a tiny packet and which they now hold on the palm of their hand. pleased to meet you (handshake).

Doubleday & Dell. 2002). this is quite easy to accomplish. Rather. where you are addressing a much . pushes me further towards my goal of the spectator remembering who I am. it is a great book on communicating and should definitely be in your library. Your persona should completely inform what you do. one of the things that always strikes me as so strange is the time we put into buying and learning the most memorable material that we can possible find. but they will remember that it was you that showed them something incredible. 1989). Magicians believe that the best tricks have a plot that can be easily explained in one line: the signed card sticks to the ceiling. There should always be this congruence between who you are and what you do. This can be a good thing! They might not remember the details of what you did.ntalism Incorporated (Development Productions Press. along the lines of Chuck Hickok's 'Multiple Moments of Amazement' as discussed in his seminal book Mfi. etc. I'm not talking about confusing the audience. I have another book recommendation for you which discusses this very subject: Roger Ailes' You Are The Message ( becomes difficult for anyone to remember what you did without simultaneously remembering you. It provides a model for the spectator to use (subconsciously) about how they are to react to my performance. This subject is explored more fully in several other chapters in the book. Also. twice. inasmuch as it should seem very natural to an audience that someone like yourself would be able to do these amazing things. and even more so when it 54 comes to mentalism. paper turns into money. I mean that instead of worrying about how concisely the audience can describe the effect. This is one of the benefits of building a repertoire of material based on your persona. This can be quite overwhelming to the spectators and afterwards they might find it difficult to remember exactly what happened. Which. Since mentalism is a more cerebral form of enterta inment than the eye-candy of magic. at the expense of making ourselves memorable. Aside from its relevance to the subject at hand. as explained above. there definitely must be clarity of effect to everything we do. their ring vanishes and reappears on your keyring. in a context that makes sense. It allows me to repeat my name. but what they will remember is that it was amazing and how that made them feel. allow your material to be structured in such a way that they might not even be able to put it into words. I often aim for quite a cumulative feeling of amazement. What About On Stage? Things are a lot different on stage.use my name. as opposed to just what I did? 2. One approach that that works very well is to choose effects which are more of a slow-burn. I have long thought that this was nonsense. but describing this future conversation does two very useful things: 1. This means that you are displaying the sa me mental ability several times during one effect or routine. 53 You Or The Tricks? As I've already mentioned. where the impossibility of what the audience has just witnessed increases the longer they think about it.

Again." This can easily be adapted to a verbal prediction. The standard way is to begin a written prediction with your name. by making quite a formal announcement of wh. along the lines of: "1. the name of your show. will be able to use the 'projected future conversation' with only a slight change of pacing. not as an advertisement. so that it is obvious that you are simply having a bit of fun with the way that you are performing. A thoughtful examination of your scripts and presentations will suggest other opportunities where you can deviously name-check yourself. have them designed by a graphic design professional. If you decide to use it. Two things they should not contain are your website details and phone number- these banners are there to create mood and recognition. There are still plenty of techniques you can use though to emphasise and reinforce your name and enhance memorability. some interesting (and appropriate} background images or artwork and if you are wily enough. They can contain your name. adapt this to your own style of speaking and keep it upbeat and amusing. " and on you go. where people can Google your name and browse your website as soon as you finish performing (and sometimes whilst you are still performing!) When I say a great business . I. Some performers. A pair of them... ask you all to witness that Karen has just examined this spoon and found. makes sure that you keep it sounding natural.. An example: you are on stage about to bend a spoon which your helper has just examined . those who have a particularly conversational style... Mark Elsdon. lends an air of professionalism to a corporate show far out of proportion to their cost. in such a way that the audience never spot it happening. And please. Banner Stands Another way to increase your memorability and name recognition when performing on stage' is to use a roll-up banner or Barracuda stand (Google them if you don't know what they are). With a smile on your face you can turn to the audience and say.larger group of people even though most effects will only require the physical participation of a handful of people at most. 55 You can adapt it even further by jokily referring to the audience. And please. whilst still managing to increase your name recognition.. It should go without saying that this should be done sparingly. hereby predict. I'm always surprised that more performers ~on't use these. perhaps a hidden prediction. 56 Business Cards A great business card is still an invaluable tool. Mark Elsdon. one on either side of the stage. never refer to yourself in the third person! Unless you are royalty. don't do them yourself no matter how good you think you you are saying. Another strategy is to use your name in a prediction.. It is an easy matter to deliver this 'formal announcement' tongue-in-cheek. nothing! Why? Because it's just a spoon! (Smile} Nevertheless . "Ladies and gentlemen .. even in this era of iPhones and smartphones.

following its use in a popular TV comedy show. here in the UK a 'mentalist' has long been a slang term for a crazy or deranged person. When you give one of your business cards to someone. use a billet! Giving the participant a business card that you used in an effect which amazed them provides a tangible reminder of you and your abilities. job descriptions if you like. Derren and Banachek. Whatever you decide to put on your business card. So let's take each in turn. Too many mentalists (more about that word in a moment!) neglect to have a great business card. It should be unique. whoever it is. Or sleep. So what do I call myself? That depends who I'm talking to! As to what I decided to put on my business card. you can see for yourself. {Again. It is really important to have something special done. so now the eternal question: what should it say on your business card? Here are some things. I'm Alan Partridge. I am talking primarily about cabaret and stage performances.card. that I have seen on the business cards of different mentalists: Magician Mind Magician Mentalist Mind Reader Hypnotist Psychological Entertainer Psychological Illusionist 57 Entertainer Thought Reader Paranormalist Psychic Entertainer Mind Controller Sleight-of-Mind Entertainer Etc. In design. . print or some other way it should be completely unlike any other business card in their wallet and ideally unlike any business card they have ever seen before.) So what's the 59 problem? Well there are two main ones: the performer and the material. size. One great feature of business cards is that they can so easily become a souvenir of your performance. That is changing somewhat as the US TV series becomes more popular. or sometimes even one at all. by a professional graphic designer. If that is all you need. I have several effects that use my card in an intelligent way. not simply using the card's unprinted reverse as a blank piece of card to write on. using his skills and knowledge from his former career as a successful (fake) psychic medium to solve cases in a variety of clever and entertaining ways. You are going for the 'wow' factor. Have a search online for 'awesome business card designs' to get some ideas. 58 Boring? Bland? Unbelievable? Dull? Embarrassing? Did I mention boring? Your call. and in the future that may well be the case again. it should be something you are completely happy with and a description that you can live up to. Okay.I've tucked one into the last page of this book. Or both. For every Earle. Previously the term was little used in popular culture in the USA. there are another two dozen who make you want to cry. Amusingly. shape. At the time of this writing (2010) more and more people are aware of the term 'Mentalist' due in no small part to the CBS TV show The Mentalist in which Simon Baker plays a consultant to the police. 'Mind Reader' would be inappropriate for someone who claims to accomplish their effects though an understanding of body Ia nguage and micro-expressions. they should be fascinated by it. I actually mean a killer business card.

These performers have started with the question 'Am I technically capable of performing this effect?' and ended with the question 'Is it something different from the other items in the show?' They have also made the classic mistake of thinking that audiences are as fascinated by mentalism as we are. then you do so as soon as possible. It 60 should be your performance bible and if I had to reduce my many book recommendations throughout Mentalism Reveals down to just a single volume. They are not. Since entertainment value is such a crucial part of your success as a stage mentalist. I'm sure that some of them genuinely have no knowledge of the double lift or the French drop. The book is Ken Weber's Maximum Entertainment (Ken Weber Productions. magic is definitely a hands-on father or a half-forgotten brother. come from a hypnosis background. Eliminate weak spots. preferably with as much audience participation and interaction as possible. but as participants. Build to a climax. Not just as onstage spectators. but rather a descendant of the spiritualist movement. Whilst some premises and effects may have an inbuilt curiosity factor. Mentalism is unique in the theatrical arts in that it breaks through the fourth wall and allows the audience to become part of the show. and the odd one or two that haven't. the reason is more prosaic: standard magic. Snapshot 2. this does not mean that they do not need to be properly and theatrically presented. key elements of entertainment success as: 1. I think it is high time I recommended the book that I'm hoping is both already in your library and well-read. On the subject of interacting with the audience. Control every moment. Communicate your humanity. 2003). You just need to look in the eyes of any of their audience members. For others though. 4. Before the old guard at the PEA have me barred before I've even applied to join. For many who make the switch (progression?) from magic to mental ism the reason is similar to my own: they come to realise that mentalism allows a much greater connection to people and that it offers a more powerful form of mystery that is both palatable and enjoyable to a sophisticated adult audience. hot.The Performer Snapshot 1 . we are in a privileged position. shut-eye or any other flavour) whose involvement in mentalism always seems to me to be both a bit odd and unnecessary. Capture the excitement. whether it is cabaret or close-up is 'too 61 .Entertainment Value It doesn't take a theatre director to see that many mentalism performers have not thought one jot about how entertaining their show is. Master your craft. almost every single mentalism performer I've ever met has come to it via the magic community. 6. 3. please understand that I am not talking about readers (cold. But for those whose primary performance outlet is mentalism. it would be Ken's. I would like to recommend that if you haven't yet read Gay Ljungberg's excellent Audience Management (Gycklaren Magic. Ken Weber lists the six. 5. 2. Each effect needs to be performed in an engaging and entertaining way. 2010} yet.Technique Despite the claimed belief (it usually seems like wishful thinking to me) of some in the mentalism community that modern mentalism is not really a branch of magic.

The Butterfly & The Moth & The Superfly. The Tommy Pad. it might be time to get back to basics and see what you're missing. because that is exactly what one local mentalist said to me. boon writer. Not only because they are able to concentrate fully on performing and being 'in the moment' since they are not worried about any of the technical handling details of what they are doing. there is no substitute for technical excellence. So. whose attention to scripting. owning ten different book tests and twenty different wallets does not constitute 62 mastery of the craft of mentalism. The First Impression Pad. Thus we have technically deficient performers. . On the other hand. The Platt Pad. And ·I don't mean by buying more DVDs or tri cks. allowing them to "just concentrate on the entertainment" is proven by their lacklustre and embarrassing performances. it most likely means that you've never tried any of them and therefore can't use any of them. The Janus Pad. The Sniper Pad . if you' ve never read it properly (or at all!). and they would "rather just concentrate on the entertainment". but in reverse. Unlike their unskilled counterparts. it' s time to dig out that copy of Corinda and work your way through those 13 Steps. And)t is the ultimate ' out'. Why not have all the techniques and tools which are available at your disposal? Swami.difficult'! Sleights and moves are just confusing. As both John Carney and Jamy Ian Swiss (if you haven't read the chapter 'In Defence ofTechniq{Je' in Jamy's book Shattering Illusions (Hermetic Press. 1991) being "good enough is the hymn of mediocrity". If you can't nail- write (or thumb-write) but you do know the difference between the MindSpy Pad. most of the performers I've seen who were technically proficient and well-rehearsed magicians and who subsequently turned their attention to mentalism are both entertaining and engaging. Strive for excellence. Expand your knowledge base and your skill set. metal bending techniques and control all manner of electronic gadgetry witpout any fear of detection. And to paraphrase what John Carney wrote in 'Secret Philosophy'. Think of it as li ke being in recovery. because the ability to nail-write affords the ability to do effects that simply aren' t possible any other way. practice and rehearsal is no doubt about as great as their devotion to learning sleight- of-hand skills. Psypher and The ParaPad then there may be no hope for you! Seriously though. 2002) please do so immediately) have both implored their readers. I put that last little bit in quotations. but also because they have sufficient mastery of technique to allow them to choose from the whole range of available mentalism material. Unfortunately. Spend half an hour less a night browsing the magic forums and half an hour more reading Corinda & Annemann. It gets worse. And that's a shame. Their mistaken belief that mentalism effects and routines are pretty much self- working. they can comfortably use nail-writers. sleight-of-hand. the introduction to his wonderful book Carneycopia (L&L Publishing. band writer or thumb tip writer? If you haven't got an opinion.

Mann. to the cinema to watch a drama. And yet there is an unspoken opinion that a magic or mentalism show 65 . Various dates) Yes. though.Mind. 2007) James Biss. Ideally look for material from creators who are also professional performers. 2003) Jim Steinmeyer. 2008} Joshua Quinn. Osterlind. and preferably material that no one else is performing (except maybe the creator). in every sense of the word. 2008) Phil! Smith. 1999) Barrie Richardson. Various dates) Chris Woodward & Richard Mark. 2004) Sean Taylor. I know! No Annemann. thriller or horror film. You can then begin the process of starting to become original by developing !writing} your own personalized presentations for these effects. Good luck! 64 .A. here is a list of ten good.. When people go to the theatre to watch a play. assuming that the performer is capable. But it's my list so I've included who I wanted! Seriously. And whilst rememberi ng our long term goal of being original. make that great books lor sets} to get you started: Larry Becker..Maurice Fogel: In Search of the Sensational (Hermetic Press. . of delivering a good performance. Riggs or Tillar. the basic goal of a performance of mentalism is to entertain the audience by amazing them with your abilities. your emotions .Theater of the Mind and Act Two !Hermetic Press. they can be thoroughly entertained without having laughed once. I have simply listed some favourite books that contain lots of strong. Yokai & Mokele (Self-published..Panilies (Mentally Impossible. Banachek. Berglas. 2006) T. I t hink that starting with a blank page and hoping to fill it up with a listing of completely or even partly original material is not only unrealistic bit also impossible. So where should you look for this exclusive material? No doubt can already picture me chanting my mantra again: 'Read More Books!' So with that in mind. Cassidy.·:. Nelson. Myth & Magic !Hermetic Press. varied and contemporary material. You can choose material which perfectly fits your premise and is ideal 63 for demonstrating your specific abilities. . not to make they laugh. although this isn't a hard and fast rule. Waters..Mentalism In New Directions (Syzygy Press. ._ · .The Material So. Remember.Stunners Plus (Aplar Publishing. The perfectly-acceptable and there-really-isn't any-otherchoice way is to start out by using material created and published by other people. Hu ll. Brook. no.Mitox.i!ttltt ·~ '~ Air · ' Ha hal Except I'm not joking. Bernstein. to the opera or to a music gig. so these presentations need to tell the audience something about you. one of the keys to entertainment success is 'Communicating your humanity'.Messing With Minds (Wyllie Publishing. Grant.Mindstorrns (Self- published. In fact you could build enough repertoires to last you dozens of lifetimes from just those books . we arrive at the second reason why so many mentalism performances are so poor: the choice of material is terrible.·. Hilford. Remember. . Maven. Joseph. your history.The Conjuring Anthology !Hahne. your life. 2002} Lee Earle.

scenarios and exercises taught you will realise two things: 1. of which there are thousands. but it was not completely unexpected. But it is so worthwhile . This is stand-alone and can happen independently of the mentalism performance. This is organic and is inextricably linked to the mentalism performance. but it does involve work. despite what you may think! The f act is that instead of being a unique entertainer. meaning that you are now down at the level of some guy they work with. Great! (Said sarcastically) Also. line. Laughter steps on the feeling of amazement and kills it dead. especially with magic (as opposed to mentalism) is that much of the effect relies on surprise and of course surprise elicits laughter. 2. They probably even work with someone who is 'a right laugh'. like the ones they saw on some TV show last night. except probably not as good. you must make certain that you never make a gag either at or just after the climax of the effect. gesture or prop. who cares? Not the audience. Losing out on giving the audience the feeling of amazement because they were laughing is counter-productive and renders the mentalism meaningless. exceptional individual to just another funny guy. 66 You have gone from being a distinctive. it can very easily seem unrelated and bolted-on. :The first way is far. There is a real problem with the second way and it is this: if you are going to use funny lines and gags. what is the point? In fact this is the biggest problem (and it is a major problem} with this kind of comedy. 2. Humour that is the result of a gag. without the support of the gags to fall back on . So here is my Comedy Recommended Reading list: 67 . Everyone has the ability to be funny. The jarring feeling which arises can lead the audience to sense that you don't have enough faith in your material and/or your own abilities as a performer to get on with the job of entertaining and amazing them. When it comes to the more fitting and useful first type of humour listed above it won't surprise you that I'm going to recommend something to read which you will find beneficial. far preferable. you are now just another comedian. Dozens of whom are on the TV. performing amazing material and demonstrating abilities that they have never seen before in their life.without comedy is not as entertaining as it might have been. that it is a bit boring. Finally. rather situations that arise from it. they had better be comedy-club-level funny. but you will have to put some time into it. Humour that occurs naturally borne of the situation. Why should this be? I think that part of the problem. With mentalism. the fact that very often the premise sets the scene for the effect means that the climax is not surprising in the same kind of way as that of a magic trick. As you work through this list and try out the games. there will be surprise that the performer was indeed able to demonstrate the incredible ability he claimed. If you want to write some comedy lines and develop moments which naturally fit your show (because they are about the situations and details of your show) then you can definitely do it. since the comedy is the result of gags that are added to the mentalism. Even if you are genuinely as good and as funny as a professional stand-up comedian. Writing funny stuff is not difficult. If they're not. The Competition Between Comedy And Mentalism There are two ways to make your audience laugh during a show: 1.

However for the purposes of entertainment. there is a strong element of TRUTH in that which I present. who only watch or observe) to experience what it is like to explore beyond the 'norma l'. you will be funnier than 99% of mentalists. All agree what they witness is still a theatrical presentation only.Be A Great Stand-Up (Teach Yourself Books.Logan's wonderful book really is all you need. but in their lives as well. stacked though the deck might be to guarantee success. they become more open to the possibilities. "Mentalism" requires a definition before proceeding. unacknowledged human traits.not in miraculous super powers.' Participation encourages belief. Denial and disbelief are strong elem ents in most peoples' thinking and prevent them from emotiona lly or intellectually investing in themselves and their potential. and for that matter. analysis. Mentalism. Conjuring (doing magic tricks) implies an understanding between performer and audience: Both understand there is no such thing as magic . comedians. The key here is in the concept of participation. The craft allows participants (not spectators." Everyone understands that what they experience is a simulation of an alternate reality. It's a trick. 2010) And that's it! Surprised it's not a longer list? Don't be. Mental magic is much the same. experience. it can become a powerful tool. it's merely pretentious 'showing off. My approach is one of motivational Mentalism.a suspension of the laws of physics. but with a mind reading theme. I use my performance to reinforce the notion::that not only are such abilities real but are also far more useful than most people realize when embraced and utilized. magicians.a conjurer is still performing tricks. When no longer dismissed as 'female instinct' or 'male gut feeling' and actually employed as an additional ta lent used in our behalf. Intuition is one of my favourites. the process of eliciting a benign belief . religious mumbo jumbo.1. Memory is qnother. Mentalism is impossible without the eager participation of others. The same . Not just for the duration of the show. If you sit down and read this book and learn from it. Heady stuff. Intuition is indeed real and can be a source for insight that both parallels and supplements logic. I mean really work through it and do the exercises. we will all suspend our disbelief in order to "enjoy the 69 moment. Thus. Essentially. Logan Murray. 68 I ' Since most of us find our roots in conjuring. however. an essential element for the successful performance. Absent that element. or magical thinking but instead a faith in self and our unrecognized. When they experience (personally or vicariously) an intuitive moment during my presentation. and formal 70 education. is at its best when the audience is left to assume that their participation verifies a previously held fantasy or belief. some perceptive triage is in order.

It requires superb communications skills.y lives. I provide the successes they yearn for but never pursue out of fear of failu re or ridicule. somehow.everyone instinctively understands that. a strong platform presence. I encourage the audience to discover talents.sealing in an aspirin tin which is baked into a loaf of bread to be sealed in a safe hoist high above the audience. it's never the magical. how- did-he-dothat sort of impossibility. or stock market moves? Sadly. These things exist perhaps not in tonight's show. body language. something I find far more r ewarding than mere applause following a magic trick. Not only can an audience enj oy a performance. As well. This allows my audience to 'read' me subconsciously. vocal inflections. I am qu ite careful not to abuse the trust that the audience invests in the process. Mentalism is no fun for dilettantes. grammatical nuances. I speak of deja vu. No matter how many layers of 'security' involved. That's why conjuring narcissists and clowns restrict themselves to push-button prestidigitation. There is an additional benefit- Mentalism is much more difficult to effectively present than magic tricks. An additional benefit in anchoring my presentations in valid concepts is that I don't betray any contradiction through negative body language -something only a long-trained actor can successfully achieve. ' In performance. when their minds are opened to this new potential. that mysterious threshold every human has crossed when we apparently remember an earlier dream of a moment now being experienced. verbal genuine.but I'm flattered when people suggest it. indeed. In return. it's in a " Lie to Me" format.·they take away 'evidence' that there are micro-expressions. Valid or not. When I perform Pseudo Psychometry. I remind the audience of the phenomenon and then ask the obvious question. the mind doesn't work that way but delivers to us instead visual . and attributes of personality they never realized existed. it makes a wonderful premise for a 'future forecast' that almost everyone can buy into." In performance. When people experience for themselves the small successes that are part of the performance they are much more accepting of the premise that we all have superb memories and that what we call"bad memory" is merely untrained recal l. It's universal. Although the modus operandi is marked containers. the 71 presentation is all about the myriad 'tells' we cannot conceal when attempting to conceal information or emotions. One of my favourite quotes: "Teaching is the art of assisting discovery. dare I say 'intuitively'?. "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we would dream of winning Lotto numbers. they can realize substantial benefits in their everyda. If I'm inclined to do a 'prediction'.can be said for mnemonic (memory) skills. and a focus on others rather than self.and they do. and other skills that will help them in interpersonal communication. The premise is absolutely factual even though I've guaranteed success through subterfuge (clients don't hire me to fail). Instead. good interpersonal capabilities. trickery is involved. Superbowl winners. I cert ainly don't want to start a religion . function as advertised. strengths. The audience goes away with a strengthened understanding of why it's important to be forthright in everyday dealings rather than deceptive.

as I hand it to someone to hold for later. At the conclusion of the routine I ask those who wrote the questions within the folded billets to raise their hands. " Then I produce that evening's newspaper and the headline shouts. When done. Of each. Those billets remain folded·and I do a riff on the single visible word. It contains some bedside jottings of 'dots' fram my dreams. "Did I fully address your concern?" "Yes. Since there are several. " and awards credit for amazing prescience without the accompanying accusation of.. The audience share moments of awe and wonder at what they might achieve and never feel disappointment because they can't imagine doing such things . Let's save it for last. You're about to experience something you will remember until the last day you draw breath. successfully answering the question within as well. I ask. I'll ppenly read aloud unsigned questions and deliver a compelling analysis in a manner that will never embarrass a participant. all of us will connect those dots shortly." "Have I given you new insight on your problems?" "Yes. When revealed.. "What am I thinking?" My reply. my sketch is a nearperfect rendition of his earlier image. complete image is before us. the visions don't make sense until 'remembered' during the event.. "Why didn't you warn someone?" I have nullified (excused. Just as with everyone's deja vu experiences. While doing a Question and Answer routine.. death from above .. To illustrate what I mean someone here this evening has an envelope I mailed two weeks ago. We proceed to have someone read the envelope's contents which mention.. accompanied by several photos of the 72 scene. "Who wrote that sceptical comment? (A person raises his hand. I prefer a multiplicity of methodology.. none are specifically linked to any individual query which allows me the freedom of delivering some sensational or semi-scandalous and entertaining answers with no risk of embarrassing any individual." For the finale I ask. "I suspect this might contain more of a challenge than a quest for insight.metaphors ." "Was your question dealt with?" "Yes. I conceal the information and suggest that my participant open his eyes and describe in detail what he originally inscribed on the billet.) Join me in front of everyone please. Bonus: The guy holding the billet almost always opens it to see for himself! My performance is more of a theatrical seminar in which the audience is guided to an uplifting expectation of the possible -as opposed to "I have no idea how that conjurer made that tiger disappear" and the negative connotation of a failed intellectual confrontation that follows. explained in advance) the prime contradiction. Other participants will have been requested to write a question and then fold the paper twice before inscribing a single related word on the outside. houses burning .a plethora of dots we fail to connect (or often fail to remember) until the full. grasp the wrist of my pen-holding 73 hand." The finish is an image duplication of the contents of one final billet placed aside earlier because the outside bears the words.still folded . " . These still-folded billets are set openly aside until four or five have on the order of. crumpled aluminium . "PAN-AM FLIGHT 543 CRASHES". and to re-create the billet's contents in his mind as I write on a large foam-core panel. The answer is validated when I return the questions to their authors without asking them to identify themselvesL all of whom will acknowledge that I was spot-on.." That's when I ask him to close his eyes.

The two overriding factors in determining how I personally create a revelation technique are these: 1. And t don't just mean for the duration of the performance. Is it believable? 2. simply to let you know that these are the kind of responses that powerful revelations can get. Does it make a connection? Believability I want it to be incredible and amazing. Great! You'll soon have a few new weapons to add to your arsenal. But there are those who have broken free of these habits and patterns. A future volume will focus on other areas.themselves. the message is that all of us possess awesome unrealized potentials that are there for our benefit if we choose to accept them. and started to approach performance in a different way. In other words. "I have skills that you do not. I am not a Dunninger-esque personality who superciliously implies. Maybe you already get these types of reactions after you perform. I mean in everyday life! 76 By the way. of course. Other times people say something like "It mus~ be great that no one can lie to you" or they will genuinely ask "Do you uses these skills/powers (I've been asked both) all the time in your everyday life? You must be very wealthy." I suppose this is the successful mentalist's version of"/ wouldn't want to play cards with you!" and tam again reminded of Derren's words: "I find that most intelligent spectators are more interested in the psychological techniques than the sleight- of-hand". don't think I buy into this nonsense! And I'm not telling you about it for any egotistical reasons. butt also want it to be able to convince people that I am genuinely capable of something extraordinary. . Who look at things with a fresh perspective. successful people that t genuinely possess some kind of phenomenal abilities or skills. We are all too easily shackled by what has come before. the presentational concepts and the paradigms of what we perceive as the correct way to perform mentalism. You may applaud now. The fact is that using the kind of material and techniques described herein (and others that are in print elsewhere) I am able to convince intelligent. 74 The goal of this chapter is to encourage you to open your eyes and then open your mind. but for now we are concerned with several specific techniques to 75 amplify the impact of when and how we reveal information and then some powerful new revelations themselves." Rather. That's when the audience rises to acknowledge that I have opened their minds. by the 'classics'. After a gig t often have people say to me something along the lines of: "You must be a nightmare to live with! You wife must hate it that you can make her do what you want all the time!'' Or "You must find it very easy to get women with what you can do".

They try to create a routine or act by having the tops and tails of effects in some way relate to each other to then attempt to build a seamless transition from one effect to the next. worse still. Separating the set up procedure from the climax gives. Watch any good modern stand-up comedian and you will see something different. Old fashioned 'joke' based comics worked like this and most magic acts also follow th is pattern. There are no rules . The television show Seinfeld is also a great example of several unrelated and diverging plots which ultimately become intertwined. but you have to work far harder to make it matter. set up. can enhance your journey to becom ing a successful menta list.e. memorable experiences. I honestly believe that this thinking. This is fine. This principle applied to mentalism allows for several key advantages over the usual fare. the dead time created by certain effects can be covered wit h minor effects or perhaps the set up for something which is to follow. I will do it. Secondly. I want to make them care. their thoughts. 77 I discussed in my book MindStorms~ some of my views on act structure and I'd like to flesh that out in more detail with particular focus on a specific area of that theory. Rather than silence or. i. but the management of the procedures and climaxes of those effects and the overlap between portions of different effects. climax. but which do you think is more impressive to a participant: telling them the serial number on a banknote that you've never touched or asking them to remember exactly how much money they got in their first ever wage packet and revealing that you know the figure? Remember. The gloves are off. rambling whilst the pictures are . but there is another approach. In short. it's all about fresh perspectives. their choices and their participation. more than the individual routines. It is far preferable to reveal something that a person is interested in. through time misdirection. something about themselves. A banknote serial number divination is rightly considered an impressive effect by mentalists. The ability to come back to a spectator later in the act and use clever wording to redefine the effect allows for a much stronger outcome. rather than just the cards. A lot of mental effects are overly procedural and have ranges and limits put on the spectator which can affect the picture of fairness.. namely call backs- references to earlier rout ines sprinkled throughout the act to gain extra laughs from essentially the same gag repeated in a different context. An example for me is in my handling of Sneak Thief. a heightened sense of pure mind reading..Connecting It has to be about them. so anything I can do to tip the scales in my favour. I enj oy playing with the possibilities presented by varying the tempo from the 79 usual set up. The ultimate goal is to build affecting. I use exactly the same type of technique as Chuck Hickok (which he explains in Chapter 13) to reveal extra information which is about them. So whilst I do use playing cards in close-up mentalism. You can make a serious impact revealing something abstract. The basis of this idea is in changing. climax. cl imax. A really good comedian may also create something of a 'web' whereby seemingly unrelated material meanders and suddenly becomes part of a master plot which leads to a super strong scene or punch line. not necessarily the order of the effects. setup.

you'd make the occasional mistake. the act is a series of disasters and accidents which befall the items loaned by audience members.. I have used this basic idea of loading the last few minutes of the act with climaxes and for me it has been very successful.. clever and successful magician. I have always enjoyed and am still playing with the 'magician in t roubl e' hook. As a busy and successful professional. This approach is very specific to Phil's character and I doubt many performers could make it work. sets them up for what is to come later in the book-test sequence. I reveal a word previously selected from a dictionary. It appears as if I am purely pulling information out of the minds of the spectators and it is almost as if the spectators were not present during the set up. This is done in a casual way and. Phil has a corporate act which is as near to perfectly structured as I have ever seen. a watch. As a mentalist. Phil has performed essentially the same act for many years. I firmly believe that Phil's brilliant thinking improves on this. " 80 Thirdly. they are 81 unable to backtrack on any individual piece and therefore the level of impossibility is raised a notch or two by sheer volume. Phil manages this with direct and very strong humor. He has ironed out the problems and weak points of the act and has structured the act in such a way as to leave the audience with a very strong memory of a funny. Money. quite literally thousands of t imes.. The premise being that a magician would not do a trick which failed but if you were a genuine mind reader. it allows you to load up the end portion or finale of your act. It also places a location on the dictionary for a later call back. I talked briefly in my book about the work of Australian magician Phil Cass. The magician is often obviously acting and a call back appears inevitable. among the strongest you will see. failure is very often used as a way to strengthen effects. He has taken some of the climaxes which would usually exist in the middle of the act and moved them to the finale. I assume that we all accept that the finale or closer of any act should be the strongest moment.. For over 15 years. In fact. This 'avalanche' of successes and highpoints has a huge effect on an audience and since there so much being thrown at them.being drawn. "I'm not sure what this means but since Michael has a dictionary. The 'accid ents' are playful and hilarious and he plays with the audience members. however in mentalism the audience perceives it differently. My current corporate act has many reve lations in the last few minutes. a ring and a tie are destroyed or lost and all are found/restored in the last few minutes of the act. It is important to tread carefully with this approach since repeated failure during the act could easi ly lead the audience to lose interest. apparently blaming them for trusting him. This is a key difference in the two approaches. I would suggest that the laughter and situation comedy Phil creates means that the audience remembers little of the details of the early part of the act. The final five minutes of the act has so many strong climaxes that the audience is left with a huge wave of emotion and his ovations are . Nor am I advocating that they should try. unbeknownst to the audience. .

Understand this: these are the same effects I was doing before. You have to love mentalism for that! As someone once said "even when you are wrong you are right. allows the routine to build in big steps and gives me a series of impossible but quick-fire revelations one after another. The tempo of the set-ups and climaxes is something I've spent a lot of time on.57 is not a hit in the eyes of the spectator. light and shade and e~periences which play with their emotions and curiosities. in the same order and with the same set-ups. it is the climax to one effect. To give you an example of this. you were actually thinking of a handkerchief weren't you?" Audiences need to be taken on a journey which has peaks and troughs. its either right or wrong. create a stronger final revelation. I now have three or four words selected in quick succession. The only thing which has changed is the order and timing of the revelations.With this new found principle. heightens the revelations. Some effects can allow you to play with failure and. We must do that. This is now one revelation sequence. I'm suggesting you now try to look back over it (most likely by filming it) and take into account the following three suggestions. This is what I like to call the 'roller coaster'. This changes the tempo. why and with what 'power'. I reveal those all at once in a fast and dramatic way." Well now.sure it' s three words but. I use five spectators. methods and revelations. I am able to be genuinely right. I am in the fortunate position of the failures also being successes in the minds of the audience. I began ten years ago by having selection followed by revelation four or five times. . In my book-test sequence. It can equally have success and failure. how. This is repetition no matter how you try to play it. "Remember when I wrote scarf? That's what I saw. An act can have loud moments and quiet (or even si lent) moments. I can now have occasional failures during an act and then call back to them with either an explanation of why they occurred or a fix to make right the error. Making the assumption that you have a clear idea of what your set is. It is important to take a big step back and get a clear idea of what you are purporting to do.le conditions and reveal those with more drama. drawings etc. I used to perform an effect where the spectator's watch and my own suddenly became set to the same random time. in a sense. there as a reason. nine books and as many as six or seven words are chosen and revealed in one way or another.55 and 7. by making it a feature. I now realise it was a visual mistake. There are t imes incidentally when failure is not going to help. I have always worked really hard to ensure that the effects I choose suit my on stage character (persona) and style perfectly. 82 By using failure to strengthen the illusion of the act and then giving myself the opportunity to go back to it. It's made all the difference. I then have two or three words selected under seemingly more impossib. I now have some more information selected and drill down into some more detail with numbers. I found out through experience that 7. I use one of the many lists which have be·en published by users of the MOAB. Simply seeing a good trick and then deciding to put it into your show is not the way to construct an act. The list allows you to show that although you had been wrong about the word.

For the lack of a better name. How does the last five minutes of your act look? Since it's the piece people will remember. Statements linking the thought and the helper multiply the impact of the revelation. Telepathy demonstrations normally involve the performer revealing a 'thought' he or she picks up from the mind of the helper. book.. Can you change the pace and delivery to heighten the drama and theatre that they create? 2.. but a powerful concept. it isn't automatically entertaining.r. The serious mentalist needs to seek out techniques that 85 also make his or her telepathy demonstration fun. believable. but I suspect similar methods may be found in books on cold reading. While I suspect these ideas can be found in mentalism books somewhere. But while revealing a thought is often amazing. Presentational Concept: Co~mect with people by revealing more than the thought . Consider these two ideas: 1.83 1. I call the combination of these two ideas Post-Awareness Personal Revelations. I don't do readings. Can you begin to set up the next portion of the act. The advice 'get a director' appears in·many places and realistically I know that 95% of you won't do that. what else can you put in there? Can you load some extra revelations in there? Can you boost it up by delaying something from earlier in the show? How can you make it more memorable? This process is always oard to manage by yourself.. 2. What a performer says after becoming aware of the 'thought' . but before revealing the thought can make a telepathy demonstration more interesting and believable. dictionary. Not a great name. . At least that's the illusion most mentalists attempt to create. 84 . Look at the tempo. hand out a pen. An easier way is to talk this stuff over with a friend or partner and just to do \the exercise of looking over your act with reference to these three guidelines and seeing what you can move or group. Doing this been something of a revelation for me.. and entertaining.. reveal information that connects the thought and the helper. pad. Can you move or delay any revelations? Can you group them together or reveal them one piece of information at a time? This increases what my friend Chuck Hickok calls the 'moments of amazement'. Try to identify the dead spots. the times where something is going on which is not under your control. I can attest to how much it has helped me and my own commercial act. I hope you are able to find it within yourself to try it. I can't remember reading about them in any book on mentalism I own. . can you make better use of that stage wait? 3.. dice or whatever? Can you reveal some extra piece of information from before? Can you go back and right a wrong? Can you refer back to an earlier effect and remind the audience of what happened and give some kind of potted description of why? In short. pencil.

Great.. Looking at you. During my presentation. the unique properties of the thought in the person's mind b... But it lacks any drama lit's direct.) The person sees two objects on the page..) First.. I'm not the best artist. let's examine what I could have said knowing that the person is thinking about a football.the drawing of a football.. but impersonal... and focus on the object. And. my name is Chuck Hickok . {100% true . {100% true. focus on just the pictures or drawings . (I have several different statements fpr a female .. It's not a baseball . I believe they will enhance any demonstration of telepathy. It is something you throw. A good performer can also easily reveal information about: a. Great. forget about the person .. by combining a few true statements with some safe guesses." But the revelation of the football could be made more amazing by revealing more than the name of the object. I reveal much more than that my helper is thinking about a football . Kevin.. I will attempt to draw 87 what I'm receiving. alii did was add five statements that are likely to be true about most males .) Revealing this much information about the person and the thought surprises and amazes most helpers. how the person and the thought may be connected .) Ju st as important.knowing that this man is looking at a page that contains a picture of a football: Hello. please look at poge 92. Now examine what I actually during my presentation. (Note: I know a football is on the chosen page because I forced that page.. or a basketball .. but I sense you are a more visual person.) One object is thrown in a game.. you are? Kevin. {100% true. Yet noth ing I reveal is embarrassing or im~olite.) The person owned the object.. I could be wrong . I'm picking up two objects on the page you are looking at. let's examine one of the revelations in my book test presentation.. To the audience. With some common sense and a bit of creativity. but rather I' m writing about what I actually use in my shows so these ideas can be more widely used by others serious about mentalism. 86 Concentrate on what you see on the page.. if al l goes well. And.. {About 85% of people admit this. Kevin. I sense you learn things faster by watching someone do something rather than reading an instruction manual. a football. so I will also write down what I think you are looking at. one of a person and one of an object. This revelation may amaze people. This object is something you owned at one time. you get only one "Yes. the audience hears my helper say "Yes" four or five times before I revea l my drawing of the football. and block out any words on the page.. The reason I sense you are more visual is I'm picking up that on page 92 there are a few pictures or drawings. I'm picking up two drawings on the page .. Kevin. {At least 80% of males owned a football.. it appears my mind is full of . And my helper's amazement is also easy for the rest of the audience to see.) One object is used in a game. and a football.. it is very easy to present a more entertaining demonstration by adding a few simple. and the other is . easy-to-observe Post-Awareness Personal Revelations. You used this object in some type of game. One is a person .Note: I'm not claiming J:hese ideas as mine .. I reveal that: The person learns faster by watching. you are sending me a picture of a football. To better understand the benefits of this presentational concept.... and a football. Since you are more visual.

While I'm drawing the football. This is an animal you could ride.I reveal accurate information about the person .. Is the animal you were concentrating on a horse? You have a great mind. In this example. You almost fell off when you went riding.. I let different parts of the audience see what I'm drawing. Using a simple forcing method. it is a rather large animal.. and also know my helper was "more visual.) This is an anima l yo~ cou ld ride.. I present these revelations so fast that the audience leaves remembering that I was correct with most of my statements.. Let's examine another example where I reveal accurate information about the person and the person's thought. {100% true. This isn't an animal you could hold . Before revealing the word horse.. It is easy to add additional PostAwareness Personal Revelations by just looking at the person .) Each of my shows is d!fferent. (True for 90% of the people. "Focus on just the pictures or drawings . This can add to the amazement these people experience. I know this person is thinking about the word horse: 89 Look at and concentrate on the first word on page 93. If I use a pad more than once in a show. Thoughts on Visual Revelations: when a helper is concentrating on a physical object. and no words. . {100% true. I always use the thickest black marker available so everyone can see my visual revelations. this part of the audience can see I' m correct before my final revelation. the page I use has only two pictures . (True about 95% of the time. I hold my pad so part of the audience can see the sketch of the football as it slowly develops. The person likes animals. Doing two things at once (drawing and making a correct revelation) not only helps the demonstration move faster . You don't own one of these. (100% true. The animal you were riding was brown or beige. They see I'm not 'switching in' anything. This is strange . do you? Keep concentrating.. I will add one or more of these pure guesses to ma ke the demonstration even more amazing: You have ridden this kind of animal. but I'm picking up that you're the kind of person that likes animals . I 88 prefer to mix visual revelations (drawings or printing on a large pad) with verbal revelations (announcing their thoughts) during my telepathy demonstrations. I don't hide my drawing from the entire audience until the end..) Some people have this animal as a pet. and using your own intuition! Sometimes. but holding the pad so part of the audience can see what I'm doing gives this part of the audience a different experience... They experience something that others don't..which is amazing. But. The Deception During this presentation I say. I'm also making Post-Awareness Personal Revelations.. because I'm picking up the name of an animal.) The person doesn't own this animal. But this statement creates the illusion that there are words and pictures on the page.. and the thought in the person's mind. I'm starting to see a picture of a horse. And even if I miss on a revelation. Yet some people have this animal as a pet." It's the small lies that make this fun for me....thoughts coming from this person... during this presentation.) The animal can't be held." In fact. and block out any words on the page. And. am I correct? Yes. They see the drawing develop. Some people will be impressed that I would know that there are words and pictures . it is possible to reveal that thought with a drawing.

they send me a picture of a Mary they know.. Here is how I reveal the name.the horse... Here's a certificate. Am I correct? Amazing.. It just takes some common sense and creativity to develop several statements about the person or the t houghts you force..... I'm getting only letters. This deception works because I know the person is concentrating on a very uncommon name. statements that reveal more . forget about picturing anything and just send me the letters in the person's name. In addition to revealing the fact that the person doesn't know a person with this name.Cozette . Sarah . am I correct? I am .. that person often starts thinking of someone they know with this name .. This deception is possible because I force a truly uncommon nameCozette.. I' ve never had someone say to me they knew a Cozette.. l normally have an opportunity to reveal more than just the word .. I thought so. Even when I'm wrong... But since I control the words I force on most of my helpers.. Sometimes. This is pure fiction but it sounds believable to most audiences. This must mean you don't know someone by this name . Please look at and concentrate on the first word on page 92 in your book. I thought so... Let's look at one final example that includes something different.. I know the person is looking at the name Cozette.. or the letters in the word. At this point in the presentation I incorporate another small deceptionstatements that claim people send pictures when thinking of a person' s name. The name has an E.because when someone reads or sees the name of a person in a book..90 Please understand that making these additional statements isn't that risky.. ond then starts unconsciously sending me a picture of that person. Say the name silently to yourself I'm getting a "K" sound. Just relax and let your eyes scan the entire word. I'm not getting a picture of a person . it's a person's name. and a few Ts. you will notice each of my revelations involves several Post-Awareness Personal Revelations. 91 This is interesting. This must mean you don't know someone by this name. I thought so. and then starts unconsciously sending me a picture of that person. I still end by revealing the name of the animal the person is thinking about.. But. it's a person's name. and an E .but the name starts with a C. This is a safe guess I can combine with some wonderful fiction to make my audience believe they are learning something. If they see the name Mary .. l also reveal: The name has a Z.. revealing a few letters is alii can do before revealing the thought. it isn't a place .because when someone reads or sees the name of a person in a book. This is interesting. .. I'm not getting a picture of a person .. I'm getting a Z .. The word you are concentrating on isn't a thing .. But. I suspect only 1% of the population know a Cozette. I'm getting only letters. If you reread my entire presentation. that person often starts thinking of someone they know with this name . If they see the name Mary .. they send me a picture of a Mary they know. The name has a few T~ . The name is Cozette.

than just the word. Or when I gesture to breathe in. I hope you enjoy this as much as we have. 93 Open Number Verbal Index This is something I've been keeping to myself and inside my close circle of mentalists friends for quite a while now. This allows me weave a story or 'jazz' around the appropriate premise in a way that is most comfortable and natural for my speaking style. though I'm not doing anything secret in there for now. they tend to relax and enjoy the show more. which I might use later. Using this concept also makes my show more fun for me to presentit's fun to see how many guesses I can get correct. After the opening demonstration. In other words there is nothing else to look at but me. and my natural display of speaking with my hands and using gestures to express my thoughts. ONVI allows you to remove the odd/even restrictions and allows the participant to choose any number. · ONVI For One on One I've always liked effects using the 37 and 68 forces when performing for a large audience but as we know it's not 100% reliable one on one. when audiences pick up on the fact that I'm enjoying what I'm doing . And. When I begin a demonstration of mind play. With some thoughts like the 92 name (Cozette) or the number (55. Paul Carnazzo of Mental Voyage has been brainstorming this with me and is the only other mentalist currently using this. a simple opener that will allow you to set up the rest of your effects.. I use ONVI to set up the gestures that will be useful later in the show. I do it in such a way that mimics the way I gesture when I'm using my business card peek. So I bet your asking yourself what the#@%& is ONVI? Read on my friends. I'm more relaxed. . I'd rather just be myself and perform something interesting and hands free that doesn't require 95 any thinking about gimmicks or props. but ONVI is something I'll do before I pull out a card or write anything down. Such as: my hands will go in the pocket when I'm asking for the number. So here is ONVI.. object. You can prove that you knew they would choose that number. I admit that l love using my swami gimmick and pocket writing for more impossible number revelations. feeling or name the person is thinking about. In each revelation. I've clicked with the audience and I can easily move into something more impossible using the tools of the trade to build up a whole routine. number. my audiences experience much more than the revelation of a single thought from each person. and with great results.000) I didn't add as many statements as I added to the animal (horse) or to the illustration (football). I've also just used ONVI as a stand-alone display of subliminal influence for a fascinating little moment.

I accentuated the F on fine and you picked that up as five. You'll have to practice the recap with different combinations to get used to all the possible outs but you'll find it's easy to make it work off the cuff. put them into the right frame of mind by saying: "Wonderful! Before we proceed. Here's how: This is the opening sentence. Have them repeat the breathing and as they exhale. These extra options will be covered later. that's what you picked up on. 97 Notice how 37 and 68 are grouped together. {You'll find more on this in the Stage version of ONVI). All will be demonstrated in some of the examples. It should be 'a rela xed state'. You can also define where you began and where you ended. which appears three times. As you speak this sentence. Whatever 2 digit number they say. you will only recap the part of the sentence that matters. This will increase your options. as the mentalist should see it . I' ll show you how I did it. You need to appear confident and full of conviction that you have proof that you influenced that specific number. 49! It's unbelievable how easy it is to influence the number 49.. Feel3 2 take 7 moments. lderful! Be-4 we proceed. You tell them in fact that it was not a free choice and that you were able to influence them to pick that number by using subliminal linguistics and you can prove it. Another ploy is to re-phrase the other irreleva nt words from the ONVI sentence. Just pay attention to the number called out and repeat it out loud several times so you don't forget it.'' 65 "65! Exactly right ! Remember I told you to get into a relaxing state.96 After you establish yourself as the mentalist and what it is a mentalist does. 2 put yourself in 2 a relax-6 st8 and you'll do (fine) 5 or 9.. The word 'moment' is emphasized because it is another option for the number One. which sounds like nine and since these numbers were the first and last things I told you. That's an odd way of saying that." Have them name the first2 digit number that comes to mind making sure that each digit is different. You cannot ask the participant to repeat their second digit halfway through your explanation because you forgot. feel free to take several moments to put yourself into a relaxing state and you 'II do fine . The last thing I said was you'll do fine. you'll want to subtly muffle the word 'free' and when you say 'relaxing'. you ask the willi~g participant to close their eyes and take a deep breath in and out. What I actually said with a bit of a slur was relaxsix and your mind picked up on that. . Let's try some examples: 49 "49 is exactly the number I wanted you to say. The number 2 is represented by the word 'to'. Remember at the beginning I said 'be-Four we proceed.. This is useful when applying the 37 and 68 forces with a larger crowd and using only that part of the sentence as a pseudo explanation.' {hold up 4 fingers) and at the end I said 'you'll do fine'. I accentuated the 'ine' ip 'fine'. you ask if they felt it was a free choice. Isn't it amazing how the mind works . Now whatever digits they call. you need to relax .. swallow the end of the word.

So you chose 1 as one of your digits. "The subconscious noticed this inconsistency. "When you were breathing. Also it's a good idea to hold up your fingers as you recap the numbers. that you need to be in a 'relaxed stEight'. That's why you got those digits". but worth expressing since this may give you other ideas if you feel like making adju stments in the script. What I actually slurred was 'feel three' (hold up 3 fingers) and normally one wou ld say 'several moments' but I swallowed the son moment. since the word wonderful might be awkward coming from some mouths.'Moments' and More. I was able to influence you to name SEVEN as your second digit. This allows you to move the 2 to where you need it to be. you will make the proper adjustments for the next experiment. "Remember I said 'feel free to take several moment'." In Reverse Let's say someone names a number like 84. Here's how to cover for 59 or 95.. You only need to review the parts of the sentence that apply. Option 2 . One. . So you would recap. The order of the sentence doesn't match. therefore. Which made them think of their singular self. Instead you will tell them you were actually trying to get them to say the number 48 and instead they got it reversed. One. At the beginning I said 'beFour we proceed' (hold up 4 fingers).Like the number 8. 84 " I was trying to influence you to say 48.. .by accentuating the SEV of several. That's why the number 31 popped into your head. Paul Carnazzo likes to begin ONVI sentence with "ONE thing I want to show you is. and uses the "one" as an out for when the number one is chosen. You might need to use the In Reverse gambit.. You'd point out that you began by saying "Wonderful" which influenced the digit 1 and that "Feel free" was actually "feel three"." Another out for the One is to state that you held out one finger when you said moments. This is one of the best scenarios. but you said 84 which I consider a hit anyways. Here are other options to represent the number One using the word moments instead of wonderful. explained in a moment.98 27 There are several outs for 2 as you will have noticed. Here are some examples for d~aling with the number One : 31 Option 1-derful (wonderful) 99 For 31 you could apply the In Reverse ploy. Explain that now that you understand their mind senses things in reverse." Or you could point out the word "Yourself'... Not my favorite option. This would be a great moment to continue with "non verbal suggestion" and a swami gimmick to send a 3 digit nu mber into their mind. Your mind picked up on that interruption and thought of a singular moment.". I said 'feel free 2 take (hold up 2 fingers) SEVeral moments' .

It was a meeting of the minds. "you're not thinking of 37 are you?" See Paul Carnazzo's handling below. It works over the phone as well and if you use the whole sentence you are prepared for any out. "Great! That means that my subtle influence worked over the power of common choices. I only eliminate numbers with repeating digits. Notes and Brainstorms I've discovered that sometimes the ONVI sentence is truly influential. "Feel free to take several moments to put yourself into a relaxing state" At this event there was a screen behind me that was being used for the other speakers' presentations. So it may be worth asking. without any restrictio~s aside from no repeating digits. you say. put it at the end of the list. Everyone loved it and I developed a sense of trust with the audience because I let them in on something very interesting. I only used the middle part of the ONVI sentence. you'll find that 37 is still a common choice. you don't have to use the Verbal Index. I offered the idea that we could all have a meeting in our minds. If no. prediction ." Then use the verbal index to explain further. I revealed that I was projecting 101 those specific numbers. It's known that if you want someone to easily remember something. I've had success with the 37 and 68 force without eliminating options by giving too many examples. I decided to present a simple thought projection of numbers and talked about our shared human condition and how at a basic level we all think alike. ONVI for Stage I recently used this idea for a speaking engagement at the Soho House here in Los Angeles. to reveal the sentence as a pseudo explanation. I had the audience imagine the same room we had all been sitting in with their eyes closed. Remember you can have them reveal their number and then continue with having them think of another set of numbers before you reveal the subliminal langu age. This applies to one on one situations. This was an event with speakers from all walks oflife and the audience was full of young successful entertainment industry people and successful creative entrepreneurs." Now you can follow up ONVI with a 3 digit number revelation using your favorite secret writing method. After the gasps and after using the subtleties to get all the hands up. . Notice how fine is a combination of five and nine and it was the last word in the sentence. because of the circumstances. If you offer a limited choice of a 2 digit number between 1 and 50. Find out if the number has any meaning to the person and take credit for knowing that as well. The last thing I told you as you were exhaling was that you'll do fine. I had four minutes to present for over one hundred people followed by a Q & A regarding my creative process.100 95 or 59 "It's amazing how that works. I decided. The effect has just morphed into a direct mind read. I had them focus on the screen that they were visualizing in their minds and did the classic 37 force followed by the 68 force. If the answer is yes.

Bill Cushman also has some great work on this in his e-book The Fource. lower than 50. you're not thinking of 37 are you?" If so. Note that in this case he doesn't give the restrictions set forth in the classic 37 force. You could. when on stage it is important to give the audience something visible to focus on. if you preferred. With these two points in mind. This is one way I've been using the Verbal Index. almost all of them are claiming to use NLP. I will give you some general examples. Your premise is congruent with and supports your persona. It is consistent and compatible with any other claimed power or skill which you claim in your show. and what I was trying didn't work in my dream . You should be sure to study both of these resources. It can also be applied to drawings.102 Paul uses a presentation along the lines of: "You were in my dream last night.E. The 37 and 68 forces are explained in Banachek's Psychological Subtleties. Broadly.. using a hand-held whiteboard (I use James Biss' 'Impressionable Mind Board'). This allows you to concentrate their attention and means that the show plays a lot bigger. so for that reason I use written (either in advance as a prediction or in real time) revelations. 103 One of the most unusual aspects of contemporary mentalism (beginning let's say about 15 years ago) is the shift away from any claims of paranormal power whatsoever. " Deliver the ONVI sentence. micro-expression recognition. and something weird happened! Let's see if this will work . let's see if it worked now. the ability it will demonstrate and the specific way you will reveal the information pertaining to that particular effect.) Whilst my favourite is definitely the spoken. body- language reading.. then two very specific example~ where I will teach you an effect from my close-up repertoire.A. An easel is not as good. psychology and other pseudo- scientific skills. you can start to make a list of the premise of each particular effect that you choose to do. 2. an effect from my stand-up show and my then favourite . "Now. think of a two digit number. revelations fall into two categories: the spoken and the visual (a written prediction. and continue. say: "Great! That's what you said in my dream. you must make sure of two things: 1. use a drawij1g pad. persuasion. with different digits. which I highly recommend. changes its name to the Mystery Artists Association? Just kidding guys!) 105 Whatever specific premise you claim for each of your effects or demonstrations. a duplicated drawing etc. as it anchors you to one spot. and this is perfect for close-up use. (Surely it can't it be long before the P. There is very little 'psychic' activity going on amongst psychic entertainers. which number did you choose?" continue with ONVI.. Got it? Ok.. Hardly any mind- readers are actually reading minds anymore. continue with: "Great! That's exactly what you chose in my dream!" If not.

In my opinion it is the greatest card force ever devised. At the conclusion of the force. don' t focus so much on what the creator intends the effect to be. or your memory skills by memorising a long random string of digits called out by the audience and recorded on your 106 whiteboard or pad. You could invite other members of the audience to guess what someone has written by listening for clues as that person reads out a list of items. because if you find it for yourself you'll stumble across several other gems in that magazine that you've forgotten about . I want to be able to force the card directly from a shuffled deck and without looking at the deck as the card is taken. 1990). You could text him a prediction of a completely free choice of what he would like to eat for supper.) You could choose to reveal your ability to detect when someone is lying by pointing out the specific vocal inflection in their lie which tipped you off. withyou 'helping' them by drawing attention to specific aspects of that person's body language. closing it when they . You could demonstrate your PK powers by revealing a coin to be actually bending whilst.. including a clever follow-up from Earle himself. (There is an excellent version of this effect in Lee Earle's Syzygy magazine.revelation using a commercially available item. I force the card using the cleanest method I know. General Examples You could choose to demonstrate your prodigious maths skills by drawing a magic square. It doesn't sound like much does it? You couldn't be more wrong! Here's a detailed description of the handling: Let's start with the selection. No. A classic force would work well. as it has been the entire time. I ask the participant to take the deck from me. You'll find it on page 26 of his book Unexplainable Acts (Kaufman and Greenberg. when you read mentalism books and magazines. I will point you in the direction of what I believe to be the strongest revelation there is.if you're not using Skin. only that you know it. the participant is holding the (forced) selection. Starting to examine new material in this light is a revelation in itself (pun intended!) and allows you to choose material that will slip past everyone else. After the participant shuffles the deck. I'm not going to give you the exact reference. You could demonstrate your telepathy by making a drawing on your iPhone and sending it to the participant whose mind you have just read. and watch DVDs or trick demos. why not?) In future. It doesn't matter what it is. put the card they picked back into it somewhere and place everything into the card case. You could use suggestion and waking hypnosis to have someone confirm your (correct) identification of objects during a psychometry demonstration.. This is a good start towards your goal of being original. take it back and shuffle any picture card to the top of the deck. it is in the participant's hand (thanks Ben Earl. or the phone number of a take-away .starting to perform material which no one else is doing and which specifically suits you. I reveal exactly what they wrote and how they wrote it. but instead focus on how you could adapt the outcome/climax to a powerful revelation that would connect with an individual or group. the deck is face-down on my extended left hand and my head is turned away. restaurant where that meal is on order. Finally. but by far my favourite option is Gary Kurtz's handling of the slip force. 107 A Close-Up Revelation The bare-bones is this: I have someone choose a card from a deck and write its name on a piece of paper.

Done?" "Yes. I then reveal exactly how 108 they wrote on the piece of card." "Okay. " "I'm finished. Please take the card and remember it. Then fold the card in half.. The participant confirms I am correct. put that card back in somewhere and put the cards away into the box and close it up. finally revealing its identity. Thank you. I slowly hone in on the card. making certain that no one else sees what they write. They then fold the card in half four or five times (as many times as they can). I count aloud twice from Ace to King and then repeat the names of the four suits several times. focus on it and remember it. turn around and write down what the card is that you're thinking of. Are you up for it?" "Yes. agreed?" "Yes.piece of card and the pen I gave them earlier and write down the name ·of the card they are thinking of.please shuffle these cards up. then in half again." . making sure that no one gets even the tiniest glimpse of what you are writing. palm up and place the little folded package onto your palm.. then again and again until it's the smallest you can make it." ' "Excellent! This p!ece of card and pen is for you to write with in a moment. I'm going to turn back around now. Picture it in your imagination. exactly what card was in my imagination and they'll say . and please make certain that no one else at all sees it. take the deck. this is just about the card that is in your imagination. ) They place the folded little package of card onto one of their palm up and hands. Finally.. I'm going to turn my head away and a// I'd like you to do is call stop as I run through the cards. Here is the entire script: "We are going to play a little imagination game. I make a big deal out of this.·. I caution them not to give me any clues or say anything for the moment. This isn't about the real cards. and I touch the fingertips of that hand with mine. but for now.are do~e 'and pocketing it (or putting it out of sight). "Good. When you are telling your friends about what happened here today.. They then pick up the . Now pick up the piece of card. put the box into your pocket or out of sight somewhere. " 109 "You didn't fold it more than eight times did you? Because if you did I think it's a world record and we're going to have to stop the show and call the Guinness Book of Records people!" "No.. Tell me when you are done. I want you to hold out one of your hands. Only now do I finally turn back around to face them. The piece of card is opened up and again I am correct. I think I folded it four times. Now." "You'd have to agree that there is no woy that I or anyone else in the whole world can see what your card is or even where it is in that deck. you'll say 'And then this guy Mark Elsdon freaked me out by telling me bit by bit. Here we go.

Spades.. King. Keep concentrating.Diamonds Often. Clubs.. Four ." a "Okay. Hearts. Seven. lf you are worried that poker players might be used to the abbreviations. Hearts. Queen. but then you didn't write the whole thing did you? You didn't draw the shape instead of writing it. (The spectator unfolds the card and sure enough they have written K+) Ah.Hearts Rarely. Basically. Four. Don't give me any clues. So there you have it. Jack. often draw the heart symbol instead writing the word. Jack.. wait! In your imagination. they would likely have written the actual number. not guaranteed." "Good. Diamonds. King. and so will usually (19 times out of 20) write the full word. e. Diamonds! The King of Diamonds! Tell us what is the card in your imagination?" "The King of Diamonds! I can't believe it! That's impossible.Clubs Never. Clubs1 Spades. a spectator won't be. Queen. Nine. You wrote a large K. the handling and the full script. no problem. Did you feel anything happening?" 110 "I'm not sure!" "Good.. remember.'Well he must have seen you write it down!' So I want you to remember and fix in your mind. right now. King.. it forces them to write the full word for the value. Two. Queen. First of all by forcing a picture card. King. Just check with your participant that they don't play cards. almost always draw the 111 diamond symbol instead of writing the word. Hearts. from Ace up to King. All that remains is to explain how I know how they wrote what they wrote. although I appear completely uninterested in proceedings when the participant is writing down . Diamonds. Secondly. Ten . Diamonds. that no one in the whole world saw what you wrote down. Just relax.g. Had I forced a number card. 'Well there must have been some way that this Mark Elsdon could see into the paper!' So I want you to check it out. rarely draw the club symbol and never has anyone drawn the spade symbol. Eight. I'm just going to rest my fingers lightly on yours and count up through the values of the cards. Although it is just that -likely.. King! Hearts. a very educated guess and some ambiguity in my statements. Agreed?" "Agreed. King.. Queen. Three. With a picture card. Seven. Five. did you? Open it up and let us see. Queen and King. Ten .. Five. Three. and women in particular. Are you certain?" "Yes. 'eight'. and be certain that no one in the world could see what's written on that paper." "And then your friends will say. Diamonds. Here we go: Ace." "Open up the card and show us.. Queen. I thought so!" "That's just impossible.. Nine. just picture exactly how you wrote it down.. Are you ready?" "Yes. I think I can see it. Jack.. rather than the word for the number. Almost always. 8.. in thousands of performances. How could you know that?" Finis.. Eight. right now. although we might be used to using the letters J. Six. Two. Six... Ace.Spades Further. no clues. let's give this try then. and don't say anything that might help me. from a lot of experience performing this effect I've found that most people. King. Q & K to represent Jack.

by World Magic Store. If you don't already know the method. I prefer to use Mozique's brilliant 'Cobra Sharpie 2. It also sets up for them drawing the suit symbol instead of writing the whole word. very specific when I am correct. The version I use is 'Spike'. For example. I can assure you that not only is it very reliable. which is available from Alakazam UK. And yet. but then you didn't write the whole thing did you?". of course. for the right audience. laymen-confusing phrase to the participant) I am actua lly paying great attention to how long it takes them to write it. The jury is still out for many on whether Russian Roulette type tricks are a good idea for mentalists to use. Either way it fits perfectly. If you are worried that you might get confused and mixed up in the heat of performance. If I forced the King of Diamonds and they take a long while to write it. may I suggest that you avoid all other dangerous activities in life. I thought so!" The double negative which begins this sentence means one thing when you follow it up with. Finally. without needing much justification at all on the performer's part. that you remember that you are meant to be avoiding the spike. "Ah. there are credibility problems about whether you would perform the effect if there were really any danger of you harming yourself. However.0'. it is easy to change this last line to "Ah. where avoiding hitting the other cars is at least (and maybe more) important.. I thought not!" which confirms that you knew they had not (inferring that most people do).. it is also absolutely safe.. not slamming your hand down on it. I thought so!" It means that you knew they had.. Just a suggestion .. And so on. It sounds very. I will assume that on this occasion they probably wrote the full word 'Diamonds' rather than drew the symbol. Ah. Rather than using the detection method provided. All will become clear. seriously hurt you and is visible on the largest stage. which is perfectly serviceable and which I do in fact employ as a back-up. 112 A Stand-Up Revelation I won't be going into as much detail with the script with this one. on the odd occasion when they do happen to write just the letter rather than the whole value. driving a car. The audience unquestioningly buys into what you tell them and from there the revelations get stunned silence culminating I applause.the name of the card (and please notice how I avoid saying that terrible.. and no sense at all. since it is the set-up and premise of this revelation that provides its strength. the script is a little vague in parts. It looks like it could really. the explanation I give for why I do the trick at all makes perfect sense. I have found this version of the Russian Roulette plot gets an incredible reaction.. Certainly.this can cover. but when I am slightly wrong it can cover up for me: "You wrote a large K. when performed at the right time. Providing. King. power or ability you are supposedly demonstrating? Invulnerability? Intuition? Spidey sense? Quite the conundrum. if they open up the card and you see that they have written both words out in full. Then there is the question of what. Th is will give me another clue to how they wrote it. Several people are invited to examine the spike and I explain the premise of what I will attempt to: cover the spike with an upturned 113 . In fact. "You didn't draw the shape instead of writing it did you? Open it up and let us see .

So. so I'm practicing the most dangerous stunt I know as often as possible. I have several spectators do the mixing. People completely buy into this explanation of why I am going to do this effect. Just be vague. I am a huge Kurtz fan and the 'Ghostwriter' is probably my favourite thing that he ever released. So I have everything set-up on a table and the spike and the other empty bases covered with white cardboard cups. Or whatever. Their critical faculties simply switch off as soon as I say the magic words "It's for TV .paper cup and then have it freely mixed among several decoy paper cups whilst my back is turned. one at a time using my right hand with about a five second gap between. one with each hand. Basically. no less) and then mixed up behind my back as I caution the crowd not to give me any clues. I take about twenty seconds to deliberate over which two to crush. Just a brilliant little . I slam down the first two empty cups. And tonight they are going to see it live. long time. here in the . no nail-writers and no messing about. the pressure will be on during the TV filming. without giving any further thought as to whether I am demonstrating an intuitive ability or a an advanced perception skill or invulnerability or . I make a big show that 114 there is no way that I can see or follow where the spike is. and is something that I would never have shared if I hadn't decided to write this book! First of all you need to track down a Gary Kurtz 'Ghostwriter'.. " It really is quite unbelievable! Very little you see on TV makes any sense anyway and for most people simply being on TV is a justification for nearly anything. so eBay is probably your best bet. until the contract is signed later in the week". this 'it's for TV' explanation will cover almost anything. I am purposely vague about which show it will be on.. After all. Through the performance of this effect I try hard to project an air of both excitement that I am going to be on TV and fear that I don't really know what I' m doing! The response from the audience leaves nothing to be desired. So that is how I act. it is a double-writer which lets you duplicate anything written onto a billet (piece of paper) on the billet underneath it.. I look visibly relieved. My Favourite Revelation This is going to be short and sweet. Obviously. Here is the reason I give for performing this effect: I explain that I have been booked for a TV appearance the following month and that the producers want me to do something dangerous. building the suspense.. muttering something to the effect "that I can't say any more about it at the moment. so that none of them are sure where the spike actually is. I will then smash my hand down on four of the cups. Obviously. without using any trickery I would be both relieved and exultant. Trust me. seemingly involuntary and fairly quiet shout of "Yes!" If I had really just done what I claim to be doing. I then crush the remaining two simultaneously. if some unnamed producers want me to do something dangerous.s. avoiding the cup with the spike beneath and certain serious injury. He released it in 1991 and it hasn't been available for a long. lots of people will eat bee.. no chemicals. anything else for that matter. No carbon or impression devices.. I am silent when I do this. since it's not true. I have found that crushing these two at the same time is much more effective than doing them separately (the rule of threethink about it!) As soon as I have crushed the last two cups I let out a short. or bathe in a bath of pig' s urine or all kinds of stupid and despera·t e endeavours just to get their face on the box. then of course that's what I'll: do. These are numbered (using my Cobra Sha rpie.

jardonnet.Making Contact (H&R Magic Books. What I'm talking about is a form of Contact Mind Reading where just by tou ching the subject you can receive information that he is giv ing you involuntarily and completely w ithout his knowledge! As I say. 1998) Banachek. rather than kissed. but that' s not how she' ll remember it. I ask a woman to think back to the first boy she ever kissed. on the hand. which is available from http://www. The combination of recalling a long-forgotten and happy event and me knowing something about it that I couldn' t possibly know is very Pascal calls his handling the 'de Clermont move'. You won't be sorry! . these books are worth studying too. The Technique You Must learn There is a revelat ion technique which is incredibly powerful and which seems absolutely real. but incredibly powerful. however. 116 There are two places where you can learn the basics of it: Pascal de Clermont's Pure Telepathy DVD. This is powerful stuff. so that when Mentalism Reveals Volume 2 is released you already have an understanding of _the ba sic techniques involved. but these will give you all the information you need to know. will take work and practice. You should read both. I then seem to read her mind (premise be damned!) and tell her the name. Mastery of the technique. 115 What I do with it is very. 2002) There are other books available. Gary. well show her that I' ve written it down actually. have quite a bit of work on t he subject and ta ke it in directions that have not been explored elsewhere. there is slightly more presentation to it than that (direct mind-reading) but not Nefesch calls his handling 'The Pure Thing' . Actually. Nelson. it looks like the rea l thing. It is like running the most popular booth at a psychic fair! For men I tell them the name of the first person they ever slept with.mech an ical gimmick that is invisible to use. and get started on learning it. 1989) Satori.Psychophysiological Thought Reading (Magic Inspirations. which is available from http://www. because this is about people' s lives. I do. to provide you with a wider knowledge of the subject: Robert A.Hellstronism (Hades Publications. Nefesch's Right ivow ebook. I have been using it for the last five or six years. Add in some intelligent cold-reading (for either women or men) and you won' t believe the reactions. very simple. 1987) Edward R. What happens is that very quickly I get a queue of people waiting for me to 'do them'! If I am at private party and I use this effect I will never get the opportun ity to perform anything else for the entire evening. because there will be very large chapter on this form of Direct Contact Mind Reading in Mentalism Reveals Volume 2.lybrary. Scwartz- Practical Contact Mind Read (Hades Publicatio ns. Start now. Whilst you're at it.: It genu inely looks li ke the real thing. and whilst I have developed it independently it is by no means original with me. Thanks.