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Topic: Mind Reading Effect
Message: Posted by: cardguy (Feb 15, 2002 03:27PM)
For anyone who owns the AOA set, there is an effect in book 2 on page 215 called Million Dollar Mind Reader. I didn't think this effect would work, but I tryed it on a couple of magicians and it fooled the heck out of them. Now I think I'm going to build a whole mentalism routine based on that one principle.
For those who know what this principle is: Is it an old principle or a relatively new one? I have not seen it anywhere else.

For those who don't own the book the effect is this: While the perfromer's back is turned, he directs the spectator to write down the name of any person that means something special to her. The name can written on the paper in any position and at any angle. The spectator is then directed to write any other name she can think of, in any position and at any angle on the paper. This is continued until there are about ten names written on the paper. The paper is then given to the performer and after concentrating on the names, the performer reveals the name that means something special to the spectator, which is the first name she wrote on the paper. At no time does the performer peak at the paper before it is handed to him. No stooges.
Message: Posted by: MichelAsselin (Feb 15, 2002 04:36PM)
Sorry... What does AOA stands for?
Message: Posted by: Julien (Feb 15, 2002 05:30PM)
Art of Astonishment by Paul HARRIS.

As for the principle itself, it is not new. Besides, it's the kind of principle almost everyone falls across by looking around a little bit, much like the Braue Reversal, or the Top Card Cover Pass (if you're a cardman) and so on.

As for the routine itself, there are several ways it can be accomplished.
Message: Posted by: Chad Sanborn (Feb 15, 2002 08:37PM)
This is not a new idea. But it is obscure! Just the kind of thing I like! It is written up in a few other places. But it is brilliant when used impromptu!

Chad

For an extra super hard to figure out version, try this! (same principle, just a dfferent presentation) You hand someone a pen and a post-it note. They are instructed to write down any word, number, letter in the world. Now, just to confuse you write several other different numbers, letters, etc. at other places on the paper. So the whole thing is scrambled. Now take back the paper, and reiterate what has happened. They could have written anything! As you say this site the word and remember it. Ask someone else to hold the paper so that you can't do anything "sneaky" (you already know the word! you ARE sneaky!) Then reveal the word!

Chad
Message: Posted by: cardguy (Feb 16, 2002 12:35AM)
I was also thinking that a good cold reading would blend very well into this effect. For example, based on the spectator's personality you start eliminating words one by one until there is only one left. Or you can ask the spectator several "important" questions like, "What year were you born?", or "What's your mother's maiden name?" and you would slowly eliminate words based on their answers. Either way, the elimination process builds suspense and makes the spectator believe that you are "reading" them.
Message: Posted by: Marduke Kurios (Feb 16, 2002 12:42AM)
This effect does have killer applications!

I love it! Sometimes I get my helper to write down their favorite food. Then add more favorite foods of all different kinds.

Mmmm...makes me kinda hungry!
Message: Posted by: Mr Amazing (Feb 16, 2002 04:32AM)
Bernstein has some additional touches to this principle, that makes it even safer in "20 Effects..."

/Matias
Message: Posted by: How_Soon_Is_Now (Feb 21, 2002 05:38AM)
It's also in Mind, Myth and Magick. I don't recall the name of the effect, but it has a nice presentation that has to do with an amulet drifting down and then up in a water filled bottle till it reaches the name first written on a paper held behind the bottle.

Eli A.
Message: Posted by: VernonOnCoins (Feb 21, 2002 08:52AM)
Only problem with the method is that you cannot count on the apparatus to give you the "signal", if you know what I mean. I've done it where the apparatus worked perfectly on the first word. Any suggestions? email me.
Message: Posted by: fordkross (Mar 15, 2002 04:24PM)
The effect sounds like Ned Rutledge's Voice Print priciple. Ned released it in the early 70's
from
Ford
Message: Posted by: MichelAsselin (Mar 15, 2002 04:32PM)
I always like the texture of that effect. Bob Cassidy actually has something quite similar, without writing..

...and the green bean effect has a similar texture as well.
Message: Posted by: mindhunter (Mar 16, 2002 06:18PM)
The T.A. Water's version is "(P)ocean" on page 257 of MM&M. I didn't "play" with it as it used a pencil and I don't carry one. This discussion got me thinking about the effect again. Any thoughts/ideas getting a regular pen reagdy to go for this (keeping it self-contained;perhaps some "substance" in the cap?)
Message: Posted by: Allan-F (Mar 18, 2002 12:46AM)
[quote]
On 2002-03-16 19:18, mindhunter wrote:
Any thoughts/ideas getting a regular pen reagdy to go for this (keeping it self-contained;perhaps some "substance" in the cap?)
[/quote]

The commerical product "Key to the Mind" comes with a pen (red ink) that is gimmicked for this effect. You can gimmick a regular pen using the same method, but this gimmicked pen allows you to write with the pen first and then hand it to the spectator, without a switch. It doesn't in general allow you to keep the pen "ready to go", but it does allow two applications if you're willing to forego using the pen before handing it to the spectator.

If you use this method, the product is worth a look, although you may just end up deciding to use a regular pen or pencil after all, especially if the style of their pen doesn't fit your persona (it is a gold coloured metal pen, not a cheap plastic Bic or somesuch).
Message: Posted by: Mikael Eriksson (Mar 19, 2002 05:35AM)
I tried this with my mother yesterday.

Her comment was:"I know how you did it!"

I asked her and she was right. But she uses to notice details, so... :)



Mikael
Message: Posted by: Allan-F (Mar 27, 2002 02:58AM)
I just had a thought about this effect. In Son of Mind Scan, there is a routine that involves reading a person's character based on the order they put a set of symbols in. The symbols represent archtypes and the order they place them in tells something about their character.

This sort of thing would be a perfect use for this principle, as it gives you a reason to divine the first thing they wrote, and for getting them to write a list of things in a certain order. It might be presented as less an outright act of mindreading, and more a proof of your intuitive abilities--but it would build prestige for the more spectacular effects to come.
Message: Posted by: Allan-F (Mar 27, 2002 03:08AM)
I just had a thought about this effect. In Son of Mind Scan, there is a routine that involves reading a person's character based on the order they put a set of symbols in. The symbols represent archtypes and the order they place them in tells something about their character.

This sort of thing would be a perfect use for this principle, as it gives you a reason to divine the first thing they wrote, and for getting them to write a list of things in a certain order. It might be presented as less an outright act of mindreading, and more a proof of your intuitive abilities--but it would build prestige for the more spectacular effects to come.
Message: Posted by: Mr Amazing (Mar 27, 2002 05:39AM)
Allan - that sounds [i]very[/i] interesting. I've just started to think about mentalism in combination with readings and this idea feels right on.

You could do a reading based on the (clearly visible) order presented, and then as a climax reveal which symbol "is of particular importance". Obviously, during the reading you have stressed all the good stuff for that particular symbol (or name, or fruit,or zodiac sign or...). Actually zodiac signs should be a good idea! (It's enough if they remember five or more)

How 'bout this little continuation: Rip up the paper, separating the various symbols, and go into a pendulum effect! (Participant intuitively finding her 'favourite' sign).

If you use zodiac signs, you could also let them find their most compatible partner!

Whoff - I'm getting really excited here...

/Matias
Message: Posted by: Allan-F (Mar 29, 2002 12:39AM)
[quote]
On 2002-03-27 06:39, matias wrote:
Allan - that sounds [i]very[/i] interesting. ...Whoff - I'm getting really excited here...
[/quote]
Matias,
Yes there are all sort of ways you could approach it. I like the more subliminal approach of making it just a prestige builder. It would not even appear as an intentional effect--just a comment you threw in, but you happened to be right on the money. Thus, it does not arouse suspicion in and of itself... but conditions the audience to accept you as a mental seer. This kind of subliminal convincer can help make them less critical later when you do something that is more explicitly paranormal.

Not to rule out a more explicit use of it. The pendulum idea is great! All-in-all, I think I dismissed this effect too lightly at first, because I thought (1) the effect is not overly amazing to begin with, since it is a choice between a small number of objects, and (2) there seemed no justification for the process of writing things down in some specific order and then (3) divining JUST the first one. But with the context of extracting meaning in a reading from the order, the whole thing suddenly makes perfect sense, and opens up a whole slew of different uses.

I recommend the MindScan routine, BTW, as it is very nice... it comes with "Son of" and is called, I think, MandalaScan.
Message: Posted by: poire (Mar 31, 2002 04:17AM)
If you approve of stooges, there is a very "clean" addition you can make to this routine. Once the spec has written down 20 or so numbers /words* unwatched, she is asked to pass the list to someone else to read out. Thus nothing in the voice can "give away" the original inscription. Your accomplice reads out the list, the key word being at a prearranged interval, eg., 11th. If you employ a signalling technique you can tell her the word /number before the list is read out. I have found that sometimes the signal is a bit obvious with an "old" pen... this method cleans things up a bit.

* I prefer to ask for a number even though this depersonalises the effect somewhat (although you can ask for a number which means something on a personal level) . Occasionally I have asked for a favourite veg and the person has confidently written this down and then struggled to think of even 5 more! It's also worth avoiding the veg effect with kids...strangers to the vegetable kingdom at worst, a nodding relationship at best.
Message: Posted by: Allan-F (Mar 31, 2002 11:49PM)
[quote]
On 2002-03-31 05:17, poire wrote:
If you approve of stooges, there is a very "clean" addition you can make to this routine. ...
[/quote]

That's very nice; I like it!

I don't approve [i]or[/i] disapprove of stooges just like that. I've summarized my view on it elsewhere (see "New to magic? David Blaine Question"), so I won't explain at length, but by my standards, the use of a stooge is unethical if the success of the effect depends on the audience's trust that you are not employing a stooge. This is not the case here, so I have no problem with it. (The problem [i]would[/i] arise if the original spectator was a stooge and just lied about which item she wrote first.)
Message: Posted by: mindhunter (May 13, 2002 04:35PM)
Matias, I love that theme with the pendulum and torn up paper pieces!. I keep a really old "haunted key" type skeleton key on about 18" of velvet piping (which is useful for ring & string effects..or in this case string off-of-head-of-key...) and the key on the end of it works great for a pendulum.
As a shameless plug that probabally should be posted elsewhere (but is in line with this topic), my PROPHET Pens use a similar principle, but much "cleaner", self contained instant reset, and the pens can be used for normal writing.
http://www.mindmagicsite.com
Message: Posted by: Jonathan (May 13, 2002 08:48PM)
I'm not familiar with all these principles but it sounds fairly obvious that all you need is some way of making the utencil write differently at the very beginning of the first letter than anything after that such as being a little dry or having some kind of substance on the pen that rubs off when first applied to the paper.

Would it be too much to add this to a simple reading where instead of just having them write down one thing you have them write more words "just to prove it's real" or something? It doesn't sound practical but just thought I'd throw it out, it was the first thing that came to mind. I love the pendulum addition which makes everything make perfect sense. Although it has no place in my act because I don't do close-up anymore but stage instead. The stooge effect does intrigue me though.

How about having a spectator write them all down like it said and use the guise of reading the spectator's voice? To me that would be a lot more convincing than to say you are mentally divining it. But, it's quite an accomplishment to be able to read someone's voice patterns when they are trying their hardest to make them all the same. I'm just fascinated with the idea of using tricks to convince others of body readings, voice reading, stuff like that that it seems like someone who is an expert and really studied hard might be able to do but sounds almost impossible! Plus it adds much more variety to a mentalism act! I would think you would be more entertaining overall to an audience that way or at least more audience-friendly (a la Marc Salem). Maybe even be blindfolded so you can't see what is written (ha, since no one can see through a blind-fold right?). A blindfold would make more sense so you shouldn't see how he/she writes them on the paper cuz it might give a clue as to where the actual thing was written. Then it would be okay to have it facing you so you could read it (you'd need tweaking so you can know what it is through a blindfold and from far away. Maybe a stooge gives a subtle audio signal) and the absence of sight helps you read the voice!

Just brainstorming here.

This is off-the-topic and I might should make this a new thread but what do you think of an effect this has just given me an idea for. I'm working on getting the final marketing stuff done on something that can be used for this effect:

Mentalist has a vision so he goes to the guy who booked the show weeks in advance and tape records a short conversation explaining the vision he has and asks the person to name 20 or so items or basically ANYTHING that can be written or drawn. On the cassette, the conversation is recorded with the 20 or so items explained by the guy. For a finale at the actual show, the tape which has been given to the guy for safe keeping (never switched, no stooge work at ALL, the only one in on the trick is YOU) is brought out and a point is made that you never touched it and the guy puts it himself into a borrowed tape recorder (ungimmicked obviously) and presses play.

While you are nowhere near the tape player, the tape starts and everyone hears the conversation with the vision explained (the vision was of the performance which is about to happen) and the 20 or so items...a big poster or something is brought out with the 20 or so items written down on random places or in a chart or something. The tape instructs like 15 spectators or so to come on stage (again they are not stooges and they can be anyone...randomly picked) and one by one to go up and choose any one of the items pointing to it so the audience can tell what they have chosen (they can also be instructed to not choose something previously chosen). One by one they do this as the tape is playing and the tape reveals which item they were thinking of as they are pointing to it. All 15 are revealed this way. The ending is up to you I suppose, but it really is your voice on the tape the whole time and you actually did record the divinations ahead of time. The tape can then be given out to the person or one of the volunteers. You can even have the guy think of 20 or so items at the end of the tape and give the tape to him right then and you not not touch it till after the performance so the vision with the divinations is before the 20 items are given meaning the 20 or so items was divined in and of itself!

I just now thought of that as an application to the product for which there are thousands of possible applications.

What do you think?

Jonathan Grant
Message: Posted by: Jonathan (May 13, 2002 08:53PM)
P.S. What you hear is actually coming out of the tape and the recorder so that is all legit.

You could also have them X out what they were thinking of on the chart as a way of divining the left over item. I'd have to think that through a little more but it can be done.

Jonathan Grant
Message: Posted by: Jonathan (May 14, 2002 10:00AM)
Any thoughts on this?

Jonathan Grant
Message: Posted by: mindhunter (May 14, 2002 03:25PM)
Jonathan:
You are on it as far as my Prophet Pens go. Its an "old" principle but I think my addition is "cleaner," repeatable and resetable under their noses,& self-contained within the pen for you to decide to use this principle or just use the pen for regular writing.
As far as your taped prediction you have given me some food for thought!
Bryn
http://www.mindmagicsite.com
Message: Posted by: Jonathan (May 14, 2002 05:28PM)
Good, I'd be honored to be the source of some food for thought. ha ha ha

Jonathan Grant