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Josh the Superfluous
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NOTE: Even though this thread is about Spirit Slates it's not very spooky, mysterious or bizarre! But it would play well in the living room.

Twenty-first Century "Spirit Slate" Patter

Recently while I was in an e-Bay clicking trance, I found myself as the high bidder on a locking spirit slate. I got a great package deal, and had been studying books from the '40s, so it seemed like a given to buy it. Upon playing with it I could really see the attraction. At the same time I could see that it was a really odd prop. With monitors and Dryerase, do kids even know what a chalkboard is, much less a blackboard? I also don't do a lot of mentalism, and wasn't sure I could sell all the concepts.

While I should be cleaning the house and making Mother's Day cards, I thought of this nifty intro that solves both of my problems:

"In the 1930s there was a great psychic named Robert-Cardin. He had only two psychic abilities but they were very powerful. He could predict a chosen card ...(pause)... and he could talk to the dead. He died at the age of 76, but up to and after that point he continued to perform. Now in the after world he only has two psychic abilities but they are still very powerful.

He can predict a chosen card ...(pause)... and he can talk to the living. I know this because he has talked to me. In fact he asked me to show you one of his favorite predictions. Now in the '30s Cardin would communicate with spirits and make his predictions on one of these. It's a school child's writing slate. It's sort of a chalkboard palm pilot..." (start routine)

This patter solves two problems for me. It makes someone else the psychic and gives a reason for using the slate. I also like the
"he asked me to show you" line, because of Cardin's ability, he would know of an impromptu performance with a stranger and could make such a request. (He could at least ask Uri Geller or Kreskin) Of course
"chosen card" could be replaced with
"thought of symbol", "random word", etc.

I came up with this bit on my own today and give it here for your use. If someone before me has a similar routine ... well, great minds think alike. (or at least "like-minds") If someone has a spin, twist, or reason I shouldn't use this intro, I would love to hear from you.

In case you missed the inside joke: "Robert-Cardin" would be the man "Cardini" named himself after.

-Josh
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Peter Marucci
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Josh,
That's a GREAT scenario; it is one way of explaining away the slate (I particularly like the line at the end -- "a sort of chalkboard palm pilot".)
My only quibble might be with the line, "he asked me to show you. . ."
It would be most unlikely that someone on the "other side" would be interested in a chosen card or thought-of design!
Perhaps better to say something like: "I realize there are always some skeptics in a crowd, so I'd like to demonstrate, if I can contact Cardin's spirit."
That is far from perfect but it gets away from the suggestion that it is Cardin's doing (like, he's got nothing better to do!)
Josh the Superfluous
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Peter,
I understand what you're saying. I was thinking of a fairly playful delivery of that line. All of your points were considered by me as part of the humor. The line is really more about his ability to contact the living as opposed to me being able to contact the dead. Maybe a compromise could be "In fact, He's performing right now and needs a living volunteer to assist in his most famous card predictions. Let's see if we can be a part of his act." I appreciate your insight.
-Josh
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
ChrisZampese
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Josh,
I like the idea that he is performing, and you are merely assisting him. It brings a sense of bizzare realism to the presentation that is really nice. Excellent work!
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are
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